The Trade Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Trade

Mira, Dec 2003, 23.95, 302 pp.
ISBN: 1551667355

Thanks to the Santa Ana winds, the fires are winning and roads are closed in and around Malibu. A frantic Matt Lowell needs to get inside the dead zone to rescue his dog, Barney, but is told that no one enters. Still he feels he must try as Barney has no escape from his fiery prison being locked inside their home. However, on the final leg of his trek along the beach, Matt is stunned to find a still breathing abandoned newborn in the midst of the inferno, but to his everlasting nightmare, the infant dies before he can bring the girl to safety.
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Not long afterward, the police find the dead body of the baby's teenage mother covered with wildflowers. Obsessed as much as he was in saving his beloved canine and feeling a connection to the deceased baby Matt wants who killed them especially since the police thinks he murdered the mother. Matt begins his own inquiries.

Though Matt seems a bit too perfect, suspense fans will appreciate this terse thriller. The story line is action packed from the fires (out of the headlines) to the implied accusations to the amateur sleuth inquiries and finally to THE TRADE itself. Greed is the common theme and contrasts sharply to the hero who is goodness personified. Shirley Palmer is an expert storyteller whose tale is a study in contrasts.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Trade

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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?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   natural disaster Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California

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