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A Dark and Deadly Deception (Marti Macalister Mysteries) Hardcover – November 29, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unspoken fears, guilty secrets and divisions between rich and poor serve as the unsettling backdrop for Bland's well-crafted 13th Marti MacAlister mystery (after 2004's A Cold and Silent Dying), set in Lincoln Prairie, Ill. When the body of Savannah Payne-Jones, a 43-year-old black actress and known gambler, washes up on the shore of the Des Plaines River, Marti and her detective partner, Matthew "Vik" Jessenovik, investigate. Marti and Vik are also under pressure to identify the skeleton of a 28-year-old mixed-race male, apparently shot in the chest and sealed in the closet of an old building for more than 50 years. To make matters worse, Marti and Vik must each cope with the illnesses of their respective spouses. Meanwhile, several elderly residents of Lincoln Prairie guard family secrets that could provide important clues to solving the two murders. Bland's deft use of flashbacks not only builds suspense but adds complexity to her characters. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

Homicide detective Marti MacAlister from the fictional Chicago suburb of Lincoln Prairie (read Waukegan) returns in the thirteenth installment of the series. Marti and her longtime partner, Matthew "Vik" Jessenovik, split their time between local work and special task-force assignments. There aren't many homicides in their fairly quiet town, which makes it easy for Marti's cranky sergeant to fill her days with pointless busywork. One such seemingly dead-end assignment, trying to identify some 50-year-old bones, suddenly takes on new significance when links are made between it and a high-profile case involving the body of a middle-aged actress washed up in floodwaters. The jewelry missing from her corpse seems to hold the answers, but someone doesn't want Marti and Vik to ask the questions. A welcome new entree in a solid police series (and one of the few featuring a female African American). Recommend this to readers of Paula L. Woods' Charlotte Justice series. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Marti Macalister Mysteries (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031232667X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312326678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,489,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cmm@chocolatesleuth.com on June 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Chicago detective Marti MacAlister has a lot on her plate. First an actress turns up dead on a movie set and then skeletal remains surface in a hundred-year old building under renovation. Clues reveal a connection between the two cases.

In addition to the two murder cases, Marti's husband Ben informs her of his disturbing PSA test and she's worried she might lose him. If this isn't enough, the Lieutenant in charge of Marti's precinct has it in for her and does everything she can to be a thorn in the side.

From the first page I became embroiled in this story, but by page 100 the pace had become excruciating and I found myself putting the book down because I was tired of the multitude of characters and subplots. There's Marti and Ben, Sara and Akiro, Vladimir and Nicolae, Delilah and Cornelius, Thomas Newsome and Harriet for starters, then throw in about half a dozen law enforcement personnel and a Lieutenant with job security issues and you end up with more characters than toppings on a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Then you throw in the movie set, DaVinci Code knockoff and cancer themes and you just want the tale to end. The book is only 260 pages long. I loved the relationships between the characters I just wished there were less of them. I loved the way the story ended too with the Lieutenant Nicholson cliffhanger.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think I have read all of Bland's Marti MacAlister mysteries, and I love the main character, and have really enjoyed all of the mysteries. This last one, though, seems to be the weakest of the set. The intertwining plots are overly complex, and don't quite hang together. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read - but you should definitely read the earlier novels first.

The Kindle edition was rather poor - lots of typos. Looks like it was just scanned and not proofread very well.
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