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Page One: Whiteout (Robin Hamilton Mystery) Paperback – November 1, 2009
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Barr, Nancy. Page One: Whiteout. Arbutus. Nov. 2009. c.160p. ISBN 978-1-933926-17-9. pap. $17.95. M Following a lead that might identify her fiancé's killer, reporter Robin Hamilton (Page One: Hit and Run; Page One: Vanished) finds something very dangerous in the small Upper Peninsula town of Escanaba, MI. VERDICT Nicely plotted with good characterization, this Midwestern mystery will appeal to Steve Hamilton fans. --Library Journal - November 1, 2009
Page One: Whiteout by Houghton, Michigan author Nancy Barr (Arbutus Press, $19.95) marks the return of Robin Hamilton, an inquisitive newspaper reporter in the Upper Peninsula town of Escanaba. Hamilton is still recovering from the loss of her fiance Mitch, a suburban Chicago police officer who was murdered while on duty. Nick Granati, a Chicago cop and a close friend of Mitch's, has information that a hired killer was involved and needs Hamiliton's assistance to prove it. This requires a trip to Florida, where other Granati family members join in. One exciting action-packed scene could easily have been ripped from the storyboards of an old Miami Vice episode. The action shifts back to Escanaba, where a local teenage drug dealer has severe problems; the body count rises but a nifty, snowy confrontation provides final closure. Aunt Gina, one of the most interesting characters, is worthy of a series by herself. Barr is in fine form; Michigan mystery fans may also enjoy her earlier books: Page One: Hit and Run and Page One: Vanished. Reviewer: Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987. --Lansing State Journal - November 8, 2009
About the Author
Nancy Barr is an award winning journalist and former news editor for the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, Michigan. Page One: Whiteout is Barr’s third mystery novel in the Robin Hamilton series, which includes Page One: Hit and Run and Page One: Vanished.
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The story starts a bit slowly as author Nancy Barr flies through groundwork covered in the previous two stories in this series, but it doesn't take long for the first body to appear. From there on, pages fly by as Robin and her cohort of Nick Granati, her finance's best friend, his cousin Tony, and her friend Charlie Baker, a local policeman, find themselves in one perilous situation after another. Several sinister scenarios unfold, involving forces that could span the globe. It seems unimaginable that such dealings could be going on in quiet little Escanaba. As the story develops, several seeming coincidences in Robin's life the previous few months begin assembling into a larger picture, leading to a stunning conclusion.
A supporting cast of secondary characters, including Robin's dog Belle, flows through the story to lend color and atmosphere. They range from Robin's eccentric professor aunt who is into auras and esp to Nick's mob-connected uncle and various drug users in the Escanaba area. Nancy Barr portrays each character so deftly that, for example, whether she mentioned it or not, I see a dimple in Nick's chin, the gleam of his smile and a twinkle in his eye. I feel Shasta's steely resolve, Tony's tender compassion, and the occasional stabbing intensity of Robin's freshly renewed grief.
She deftly describes the area around Escanaba so well I feel I could get around without a map. But the real thrill is the sense of having ridden along with Robin as she survived an Upper Peninsula whiteout blizzard and came out victorious. She is right up there with Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone or Susan Albert's China Bayles as someone I want to stay in touch with over the years, as the volumes continue to emerge.
If you love a masterfully-crafted mystery with plenty of gripping action, this is one you won't want to miss.