Dirty Laundry Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dirty Laundry

Ballantine, July 2003, 23.95, 272 pp.
ISBN 0345457045

Eleven months after the Rodney King Riots, Los Angeles remains fragmented along racial lines and the LAPD is still reeling from the fact that four of their own are going to be on trial. Some members of the community are trying to heal the troubled city by campaigning for the mayoral candidate that they believe will work to unite the racially divided city. Korean-American Vicki Park believes that Latino candidate Mike Santos is the person for the job and works as a campaign strategist on his election team until someone kills her.
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African-American LAPD homicide detective Charlotte Justice, a black woman who can pass for white, knows how racially and sexually prejudiced the department is against blacks and women. She is assigned to find out who killed Vicki Park and dumped her burned body in a back alley in Koreantown. Aware of what a political hot potato she is dealing with and just coming off a suspension because she killed a dirty cop, Charlotte must once again deal with dirty police officers and multiple suspects who had ample reason to want the victim dead.

In March 1993, Los Angeles is a city in pain especially the Korean community who lost some loved ones and much of their local shops due to rioters. The police department is still run by the white good old boys, leaving minorities and women losing the fight against an entrenched system that has been in place for decades. DIRTY LAUNDRY is an excellent police procedural that gives a step by step play of a homicide investigation against one heck of a realistic backdrop.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Dirty Laundry

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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 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% 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    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California

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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Paula L. Woods Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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