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Murder in Alphabet City Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Murder in Alphabet City



Fawcett, Feb 2004, 6.99, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0449007359

After taking some time off to recover from her encounter with a serial killer, New York Police Department Detective First Grade Jane Bauer returns to duty in time to work an old case with her two partners. Power broker Flavia Constantine wants the police to reopen the case of her brother Anderson Stratton who supposedly committed suicide eight years ago. She demands the police prove it was murder and find the perpetrator.

After doing multiple interviews, Jane discovers a link between Stratton, his social worker Erica Renzler and building superintendent Larry Vale. Jane assumes that Erica visited Stratton as an excuse to talk to Vale. Eight years ago Erica also supposedly committed suicide after she quit her job at social services; Jane thinks the two deaths are linked. When she finds Erica's secret postal box with hidden records hinting that she was involved in something illegal, both cases are officially reopened as murder investigations. Someone doesn't want the police investigating and someone named Bill Fletcher takes off with the daughter of Jane's partner. When that doesn't cause the detective to back off, someone tries to kill Jane.

The author gives the audience a step-by-step insight into an ongoing investigation so that readers see how a case is solved. Jane is a remote individual so it is hard to warm up to her.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Murder in Alphabet City

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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    -   police procedural, American 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:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

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