A Secret Woman Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Secret Woman

St. Martin's, Apr 2002, 23.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0312252400

    Essex City, New York Homicide Detectives Simon Goldtree and Frank Garrowey investigate the brutal murder of insurance executive Martin Stanstead when they find a tenuous link to local crime boss Alvin Landowski. However, the case abruptly ends when a smalltime punk confesses to killing Stanstead. Still, Simon's ability to empathetically determine the truth from lies tells him that this is a clever cover up.
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    Not taking any chances that the media darling Simon and his old fashion grind them out investigative partner continue with the inquiries, Landowski uncovers damaging information about the former. Landowski places Simon under a media microscope as he reveals that the squeaky clean Simon is a transsexual thinking of undergoing a sex change operation. Though he knows his career is over, Simon refuses to allow public and departmental pressure from stopping him from completing his investigation into the truth.

    Though the unexpected is the norm from Rachel Pollack, the classic police procedural takes quite a surprising twist even for this daring author in A SECRET WOMAN. Fans of the investigative tale need to understand that one-third to a half of the story line involves the subplot focusing on Simon's “secret” moral dilemma. Though fascinating and ultimately tying back to the prime case, the mystery feels like a stepchild to this deep arc. Though not for the purists. this extremely complex and powerful novel containing a believable cast is a deep character study.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Secret Woman

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator 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    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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