BookBrowse Reviews Alice in Jeopardy by Ed McBain

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Alice in Jeopardy

by Ed McBain

Alice in Jeopardy by Ed McBain X
Alice in Jeopardy by Ed McBain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 304 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2006, 384 pages

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A swift, cleverly plotted story line, sassy dialogue and a well-drawn, resilient heroine make this gripper a hands-down success. Mystery/Thriller

Comment: McBain's latest book (a departure from his 87th Precinct detective series) follows one week in the life of Alice Glendenning; a recently widowed 34-year-old with two young children and a bundle of troubles. Her eight-year old hasn't spoken since his father disappeared (presumed dead) in a boating accident eight months before, the insurance company are quibbling over the payout, and she hasn't made a sale since starting work as a realtor six months ago. However, things can always get worse, and they do when her children are abducted from school and held for a ransom of $250,000 - the exact same sum as the yet to be paid insurance payment. Following instructions, she doesn't call the police, but her housekeeper does, and soon her home is alive with surveillance equipment and bumbling detectives, her itinerant brother-in-law, the dumb blond who ran her over in her car earlier in the day and broke her ankle, and her sister - all meddling and offering unwelcome advice. Fortunately she has Charlie Hobbs, her only real friend, to lean on, which is a good thing as a shocking surprise awaits her.

Alice in Jeopardy
scored a hat-trick of starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist. As Wes Lukowsky, writing for Booklist, puts it, McBain is "always very good, usually excellent, and occasionally transcendent. If this were his first novel, we'd anoint him the next great crime novelist of the new century. But since we have more than 50 years of great work on which to judge him, we'll say instead that he's still at the top of his game."

This review first ran in the May 22, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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