The Rampant Reaper Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Rampant Reaper

St. Martin's, Aug 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0312290969

Though her preference would be to stay home in Southern California, literary agent Charlie Greene agrees to accompany her adopted mother attending a funeral in Myrtle, Iowa. Charlie has not met this side of the family that has never accepted adoption as a source of viable kin. Still, Charlie would do almost anything for her mother, biology professor Edwina Greene, including meeting the extended family even in this backwater.
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Once there, Charlie realizes she has an opportunity to uncover the identity of her biological mother, but instead ends up at Gentle Oaks Nursing Home. Though elderly, the patients seem more than senile than the average geriatrics. Most of the senior citizens act petrified in mind and body leaving Charlie to wonder why society allows people to live with what appears no dignity, hope or thought. Apparently someone agrees with Charlie because someone begins killing the residents. Encouraged to uncover the truth, Charlie begins to investigate what seem to be euthanasia killings.

The latest Charlie Green mystery, THE RAMPANT REAPER, is a strange eccentric amateur sleuth tale. The story line centers on what to do for the aging especially when the mind goes and the body is not lagging far behind. However, Marlys Millhiser's efforts to use humor to diffuse the seriousness of the topic come across as iniquitous because the cast including the heroine is nasty. Fans who don't mind an ensemble of misanthropes will enjoy Charlie's sleuthing and the insight into a problem that society would prefer die away.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Rampant Reaper

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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?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


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