Dry Heat Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dry Heat

St. Martin's, Oct 2004, 22.95, 213 pp.
ISBN: 0312333854

A homeless person died with an FBI agent's badge sewn into his pocket. The badge found on the John Doe belonged to Agent John Pilgrim, who was murdered in 1948.
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The FBI asks Arizona Deputy David Mapstone to help on the case because he brings a unique perspective to an investigation. A former San Diego State University professor of history, David looks at clues from the viewpoint of a historian sifting through information. The Feds believe that point of view might explain how a badge lost over fifty years ago surfaced on a dead bum; ironically the FBI fails to cooperate when it comes to providing full information on the long dead agent. However David has other concerns involving his wife Lindsey; a computer whiz, she several others cracked a case involving the Russian mafia. Now three members of her team have been assassinated. As the Mapstones struggle to stay alive, the professor begins solving the homicide.

David works the cold case with little cooperation from the FBI, who wants to restrict his investigation to how the homeless person got the badge. His work also puts him in professional conflict with the Cold Case Squad. The sidebar involving his spouse adds suspense and ultimately ties back to the prime theme, but can be distracting until the reader sees the links.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Dry Heat

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%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?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   squabbling with fellow investigator(s)/police boss Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

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