Loose Cannon: A John Raven Mystery

Donald MacKenzie, Author
Donald MacKenzie, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (156p) ISBN 978-0-312-09863-6
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Paperback - 219 pages - 978-0-8161-5859-1
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With neither graphic sensationalism nor didacticism, this strong, impassioned tale captures the horrors of childhood sexual abuse. In her ninth outing, Fort Worth, Tex., police detective Deb Ralston is called by a frantic patrolman looking for a female officer to talk 16-year-old Dusty Miller off a high-rise windowsill. Dusty jumps, apparently an open and closed case of suicide, but Deb is driven to understand more about the girl's death and the angrily dismissive response of the girl's father. Meanwhile, temporarily reassigned (against her will) from the Major Case Squad to the Sex Crimes Unit, Deb finds herself working on the particularly grotesque case of a serial rapist; she also has to cope with the troubles of her son Hal's girlfriend, Lori, who figured in Deb's last case, in Hacker . Deb's work on the Rape Squad and a visit from a sister with AIDS trigger troubling memories of her own childhood. In urgent and powerful prose, Martin artfully weaves together the strands of Deb's search for a resolution to her past pain, for the serial rapist and for an explanation for Dusty's suicide. (Mar.)
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