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A Picture of Guilt Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of A Picture of Guilt



Poisoned Pen, Jul 2003, 24.95, 304 pp., ISBN: 1590580737
Berkley, Jul 2003, 6.50, ISBN: 0425191079

Chicago resident Ellie Foreman, accompanied by her teen daughter, has been on vacation in West Virginia for several days when she obtains a copy of the Chicago Tribune. The item that catches her eye is the murder trial of Johnnie Santoro for killing his girlfriend Mary Jo Bosanick. The paper says the circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming that the suspect has no chance of securing a not guilty finding. However, Ellie recognizes Johnnie as a drugged person who she caught on video when she was doing a shoot at Olive Park at about the time and date of the homicide.

When she returns to Chicago, Ellie goes to the studio of MacArthur J. Kendall III to affirm her belief and though there is radio interference on the tape, Johnnie is clearly there. Not trusting the police, she provides her evidence to Johnnie's lawyer. However, Ellie soon finds herself and her family and friends as the target of stalkers who expect Johnnie to hang as the fall guy.

White Sox and Cub fans will agree that this is an exciting thriller that begins so very innocently when a Good Samaritan tries to do the right thing. The story line, once Ellie returns to Chicago, moves rapidly forward as not so subtle threats to herself and her beloved daughter commence once the heroine surfaces the video. Though the conspiracy seems strange at first, whether the reader roots for a bull or bears market, they will appreciate this taut suspense novel due to the lead protagonist; a solid citizen turned victim turned survivor-hunter.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of A Picture of Guilt

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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?    -   80% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   wrongly convicted clearing his name Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

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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Libby Fischer Hellmann Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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