Fatal Remains Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Fatal Remains

St. Martin's, Dec 2003
ISBN: 0312300972

Lincoln Prairie, Illinois police detectives Marti MacAlister and Vik Jessenovik investigate the death of an apprentice archaeologist on the property of Josiah Smith. The deceased was working on a dig to prove that nothing of value was on this segment of the Smith property because the elderly Josiah planned to sell the land to a developer. However, instead of cooperation from Josiah and his family, the octogenarian patriarch informed, or perhaps warned his brood to offer nothing to the cops.
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To Josiah's chagrin, the dig uncovers the remains of a Potawatomi Indian settlement and slave tags indicating that ancestor Idbash Smith was connected to the Underground Railroad, but not necessarily as a positive helper. Marti and Vik begin their own style of digging in an effort to ferret out a modern day killer amidst the silent Smiths while others from a ghost to slave descendents to Native American preservation groups arrive to convolute the suddenly dangerous investigation.

Fans of complex police procedural tales will appreciate FATAL REMAINS due to two strong mysteries (past and present) and the wonderful lead cops. The story line is at its best when Vik and Marti either investigate or provide a glimpse inside their personal lives especially the male protagonist who struggles with his wife's MS illness. The historical aspects of the case (the Potawatomi tribe and the slave manacles) add a sense of heritage and depth to the modern day inquiries.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Fatal Remains

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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?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Eleanor Taylor Bland Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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