|Plot Summary of Past Due|
Morrow, May 2004, 24.95
In Philadelphia, lawyer Victor Carl visits his dying father residing at the Temple University Hospital. His dad may be near death and seems to only tell melancholy tales from his youth, but has enough of his faculties to know that his son's cable is out and the Sixers are on TV.
Meanwhile pathetic insignificant wannabe thug Joey “Cheaps” Parma wants to retain Victor involving the murder of a lawyer Tommy Greeley twenty years ago. Only Victor would agree to assist Joey Cheaps, who not only never pays on time, is assumed guilty even by his attorney, and admits to his lawyer that he was one of the killers. However, not long afterward, the throat slashed corpse of Joey Cheaps is found near the waterfront. Though he knows he will not get paid and realizes he should mind his business, Victor feels a certain obligation to his dead client and begins making inquiries into what happened two decades ago and why suddenly did that homicide resurface into a new murder.
Though the conspiratorial ending and the lack of legalese makes the tale more a private investigator novel, fans will enjoy touring Philadelphia on Victor Carl's days off. The story line is fast-paced, punctuated by Victor's sarcasm, much of which is self-effacing. His relationship with his dad adds a humanizing sidebar. Readers will enjoy trekking the town with Victor as he does what he believes is right even for a dead beat loser like Cheaps.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Past Due|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
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?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- solving long-past murder
Kind of investigator
- skilled citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards family/friends
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- a lawyer creature
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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