Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review: Triple Play

Triple Play: a Jake Hines mystery by Elizabeth Gunn
3.5 stars

Reasons for reading: Every year for our annual visit to Minneapolis, I try to read a Minnesotan book and this one sounded good (the latest PJ Tracy hasn't come out yet, darn it, or I'd have taken it).

Summary: "He lives just outside Minneapolis/St. Paul, where the city meets the prairie, where the winters are long, the men are rugged, and a stubborn detective with a murky past is a little out of place. But Jake Hines has to worry about more than just fitting in: there's a serial killer on the loose.The first victim was found on home plate in a neighborhood park. The next wore an old softball uniform and an obscene disfigurement. While Jake, a man who can solve any mystery except that of his own orphaned past, rummages through the dirty laundry of people's lives, a group of high-tech crime busters descends from the big city—thrilled at the chance to dance with a serial psycho. But even with a beautiful crime-scene photographer providing a major distraction, Jake takes no pleasure from this hunt. Because this killer is pulling him relentlessly toward one more murder, one more suspect, and one very bitter truth. . . . "

First line: "Come on," I said. "Let's do it now."

My thoughts: Minnesota writers always seem to write so well about Minnesota details, I love it! Just a few pages into the novel I was enjoying Jake's spot-on comments about the weather and the fact that he listens to my husband's favourite radio station, KQRS.

Jake is as Minnesotan as they come, yet his mixed-race features make people wonder about his origins. He can't help them, he doesn't know - he was abandoned as a baby and raised in foster homes. His past and his recent divorce provide some interesting colour for the character, without being too overdone and making him into a tortured, overwrought soul.

Jake is a great detective, but at first it seems he's met his match with this weird, gruesome case. And the murders are pretty awful, not for the faint-hearted or -stomached reader. I'm not a good judge, because I almost never figure out whodunnit, but I think it was a good enough twist for any avid mystery fan, too.

And there's romance, too! The book ends with a lovely date all over the Twin Cities - it was my favourite part.

The verdict: I'll be glad to read more about Jake's crime-solving talents and I want to see how his budding love affair turns out!

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Dear participant of the genre challenge,

I am happy to announce that the genre challenge blog is finally up and running! Due to some real life problems, this has taken longer than planned, but now that it’s finished, I invite you over to post your reviews there. It’s at

The process is really simple, just post the link to your review in the comments of the appropriate post. An example: if you reviewed a fantasy book for the genre challenge, post the review in the comments of the Fantasy Fiction Reviews 2008-2009 post.

Because of the transfer from my general book blog to the genre challenge blog, some review links might have become lost, so please check to see if all of your reviews have been linked. If not, please repost the links I missed.

According to my information, you have posted links for the following genres: detective, science fiction, action/adventure, fantasy, realistic, historical and western. Which means you are missing these genres:crime, mystery, horror, thriller, romance, of which you can drop 2.

Just to remind you, to be eligible for the prize drawing, all of your reviews must be posted before 1 November 2009.

Thanks for joining this challenge!

Happy reading,