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Criminal Element Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Criminal Element



Forge, Feb 2002, 27.95, 528 pp.
ISBN: 0312877870

    Chicago Alderman Skip Murphy kills his bedroom partner bargirl Sophie Novak during a rough sex incident. Knowing his career is dead if his deadly dalliance surfaces, Skip needs to cover up the crime. He turns to Violent Crimes Unit Detective Joe Donegan, an individual who uses the badge to successfully perform illegal activities, to help clean up his problem. Not only does the corpse burn to ashes, but also witnesses who have seen Skip with Sophie are killed.

    Joe sees his new work as an upward mobility career move. Police Commander Larry Cole and his partner Sergeant Blackie Silvestri know the truth about Joe's revenue making actions, but struggle to find evidence to prove their case. Now they have a murder mystery that smells of Donegan, who slyly manages to keep one step ahead of his peers.

    Donegan steals this police procedural, as the veteran team (in books too) seems to fail to stop this master felon. The story line of CRIMINAL ELEMENT moves quickly forward though Larry and Blackie appear hopeless and even somewhat pathetic in their chase of Joe. Hugh Holton, who recently past away, provides fans of his Chicago police procedural series with a pleasurable entry though the villain owns the novel.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Criminal Element

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%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 obvious Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Murder of certain profession?    -   lawmen Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Hugh Holton Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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