Past Due Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Past Due

Morrow, May 2004, 24.95
ISBN: 0060508175

In Philadelphia, lawyer Victor Carl visits his dying father residing at the Temple University Hospital. His dad may be near death and seems to only tell melancholy tales from his youth, but has enough of his faculties to know that his son's cable is out and the Sixers are on TV.
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Meanwhile pathetic insignificant wannabe thug Joey “Cheaps” Parma wants to retain Victor involving the murder of a lawyer Tommy Greeley twenty years ago. Only Victor would agree to assist Joey Cheaps, who not only never pays on time, is assumed guilty even by his attorney, and admits to his lawyer that he was one of the killers. However, not long afterward, the throat slashed corpse of Joey Cheaps is found near the waterfront. Though he knows he will not get paid and realizes he should mind his business, Victor feels a certain obligation to his dead client and begins making inquiries into what happened two decades ago and why suddenly did that homicide resurface into a new murder.

Though the conspiratorial ending and the lack of legalese makes the tale more a private investigator novel, fans will enjoy touring Philadelphia on Victor Carl's days off. The story line is fast-paced, punctuated by Victor's sarcasm, much of which is self-effacing. His relationship with his dad adds a humanizing sidebar. Readers will enjoy trekking the town with Victor as he does what he believes is right even for a dead beat loser like Cheaps.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Past Due

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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    -   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% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator 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    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


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