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Past Malice Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Past Malice



Avon, June 2003, 6.99, 368 pp.
ISBN 0380819562

The Stone Harbor Historical Society wants to build a gift house with bathrooms on the grounds of Chandler Home and they hired archeologist Emma Fielding to set up a site where they want to dig. Emma plans to identify any archeological remains and to learn more about the Chandler family who was a power in the community in the early eighteenth century. Emma lives in nearby Lawton, Massachusetts so this summer dig is an easy commute for her.

The site yields some good artifacts when Emma and her students find the dead body of the security guard. The police temporary halt work at the site so Emma spends time with her sister. The police permit the dig to continue but immediately close it down again when the body of Aden Fiske, the head of the Historical Society is found. When Emma starts asking questions, she discovers that Aden had many enemies. However, the killer goes to far when her sister is poisoned.

The heroine of PAST MALICE is a very likable character who loves her husband and sister more than she does the job. She makes compromises to keep her husband satisfied that she isn't putting herself in danger and is ready to listen to her sister when she is ready to talk about her man troubles. She learns the secrets of the town, which places her in danger from a killer who will go to any lengths to keep them buried. While the story line is fast-paced and exciting it is the heroine who makes this a book to remember.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Past Malice

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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    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher 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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