Black River Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Black River

Morrow, July 2002, 23.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0380978741

Though a very tiny earthquake occurred along the San Andreas fault that hardly registered on the richctor scale, the damage to the newly built Fairmont Hospital left sixty-three people dead, forty of them children. It was discovered that the building was not built to specifications because the builders skimped on earthquake prevention fortifications by bribing building officials and inspectors to sign off that it met the code.
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The prosecution says that known criminal Nicholas Balagula was the mastermind behind the tragedy that led to the calamity. The Feds brought him to trial twice and failed to get a conviction. Now they are trying again and true crime writer Frank Corso is the only journalist allowed to witness the proceedings. Corso wants to see justice served but the case abruptly becomes personal when his ex-girlfriend is almost killed by two goons in the pay of Balagula.

G.M. Ford is an excellent writer who tells quite a story. His enigmatic protagonist is a likable chap content with being alone. Still he strives to do the right thing for the only person who means anything to him while not expecting any payment or even a return favor. The interesting plot is filled with unexpected yet reasonable twists and turns that compels the audience to drive this vehicle in a one sitting pleasurable ride.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Black River

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Legal Thriller    -   Yes Legal Plotlets    -   fighting judge/jury tampering    -   story of crooked lawyer Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   vigilante getting revenge Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   breaking up mobsters

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Pacific NW

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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