Dead End Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dead End

Avon, April 2004, 6.99, 364 pp.
ISBN 0060582987

As a DC area crime reporter, Rebecca Moore uncovers a crime story in a brokerage house. When she has enough substantiation, she turns the evidence over to the SEC, knowing she'll have a juicy story after they finish their investigation. Rebecca tells her lover David about the SEC investigation because he works in the firm that is being investigated never realizing he is the person embezzling funds. He commits suicide in Rebecca's home.
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When Rebecca becomes part of the story, she escapes to Head Tide, Maryland and the Vintage and Classic's car businesses she inherited from her uncle. When she opens up the store at the beginning of the work week, she finds the naked body of Graham Stock, Rebecca's business rival. The sheriff believes either Rebecca or one of her employees, mostly ex-cons, is responsible. Washington D.C. detective Mick Hagan, who feels guilty over David's death, is in town and is asked by the local sheriff to help in the investigation and he agrees. More dangerous and even deadlier crimes follow like arson and another homicide. To learn the truth, Rebecca puts her own life in danger from a killer who wants something she doesn't even know she has.

Every once in a while a mystery author comes along that is so talented that the reader knows she has a great future ahead of her. Judith Skillings fits that bill. She has written a fabulous who-done-it that is rich in characterizations and is well plotted. Although Rebecca and Mick never kiss or ever touch, the sexual tension between them is so strong that readers feel the sparks jumping of the pages. There is a plethora of suspects so that it is almost impossible to figure out who the perpetrator is.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Dead End

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat 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?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast

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