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Mission Flats: A Novel Paperback – June 12, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The first 100 pages of this novel are indeed superb. This novel begins by detailing the everyday life of a young, inexperienced police chief of a small town in Maine. A murder takes place, and the state police swoop in, quickly relegating the police chief to the sidelines. The first 100 pages are a brilliant character study about the police chief's life in this small town, and I really enjoyed them.
Unfortunately, after the first 100 pages, Landay takes MISSION FLATS into a very different direction. The small-town police chief travels to the big city of Boston, and begins investigating the murder on his own. At this point, the plot begins to spin out of control and loses all credibility. Our young hero suddenly becomes a brilliant cop, beds the DA on the case, runs into key witnesses by coincidence, exposes a long-dormant conspiracy, and so on. None of these events develop naturally or believably.
There is an effective twist at the end of MISSION FLATS, but it is based on the narrator deceiving the reader, which really isn't playing fair. The deception does leave something of a bad taste in the reader's mouth. Still, I found the ending a true shocker, and I admire Landay's courage in coming up with an unconventional resolution to the story.
Overall, MISSION FLATS is a good book, but I can't recommend it with enthusiasm, largely due to the plot weaknesses I outlined above.
William Landay is a former district attorney and undoubtedly there are a couple of his former colleagues who form the template for at least one of the characters in MISSION FLATS. The main focus of the story is Ben Truman, who at the age of 24 finds himself walking unsteadily in the shoes of his father, Claude. Ben is the police chief of Versailles --- pronounced Ver-Sales, as we quickly find out, a municipality that is more than a hamlet but less than a village in rural Maine. He inherited the job from his father, a bear of a man who people still refer to as The Chief. Ben never wanted the job and never even wanted to be a policeman. He was content with his graduate studies in Boston until family circumstances called him home. He is stuck in the ennui of his surroundings, his job, and a relationship where the emphasis is on "physical fulfillment" until the discovery of a body in a summer cabin changes everything.
The body belongs to Robert M. Danziger, Assistant District Attorney of Sussex County. Danziger is the victim of foul play and there is an immediate suspect: Harold Braxton, a Boston gang leader heavily involved in drug dealing.Read more ›
I'm usually pretty good at figuring out "who done it" in mystery stories - not this time though. It was a total treat to be so wrong about where the story was going and to feel so shocked to realize that I had not known the characters at all until the end.
If you're bored with predictable mysteries you absolutely must read this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall, the writing is ok. I read "Defending Jacob" and enjoyed it much more. The character development seemed off at times, especially in the twist. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Julie Klahr
Not as good as I expected it to be. Not sure if it was me and the book. It was good enough to continue--I wanted to find out how it ended.Published 7 days ago by Kathy
This is another good example of the now popular "unreliable narrator" novel. The plot is complex, but very well written. Read morePublished 8 days ago by lynntriss
This story had lots of twists and turns. It was the perfect mystery - you never know what is going to happen on the next page. Read morePublished 11 days ago by AP
He is an accomplished author and I would read another novel but I just didn't care for this type of cop storyPublished 17 days ago by Sharon
I have read some garbage books that were ranked 5 stars so I'm amazed this is only a 4. It's well written and full of surprises. Read morePublished 26 days ago by adnaper
This book kept my interest from the first page until the last this was the second book of his that I read and I look forward to number 3.Published 26 days ago by David Fass
Good story, well written as anything from landay. I preferred defending Jacob, but glad I ordered mission flats, would recommend it to all Amazon customers.Published 1 month ago by Nancy L. Martel
A bit slow moving. I enjoyed the characters in the novel. The quirks of "down wasters are interesting. Perhaps there will be others.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer