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Book Reviews

Spring 1997

Blue Genes
book cover, Blue Genes, Val McDermid
Val McDermid, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-232584-5
The female PI written by a female writer almost became a cliché for a while. There were some excellent characters, and some excellent writers got their professional start during the rush. And I think it also spurned a strange variant -- the romance crime mystery. BUT this isn't one of them.

Brannigan, McDermid's British PI is a realistic human with actual professional cases who demonstrates an awareness of real human life, hard business facts and the seedy side of the tracks.

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Based in Manchester, Brannigan in this case must protect her best friend from losing her child. Now, the best friend is a lesbian, so you may guess that this book covers some new technology.

The pace is good, the characters and environment clearly drawn, the motivation works, the PI behaves in a logical way, thinks things through, relies on luck, research and contacts, and, frankly, what we have here is a satisfying read.

An excellent series to get your teeth into, and this book is well worth your time. As is McDermid's non-fiction A Suitable Job for a Woman.

by Ali Kayn

See also: The Wire in the Blood
A Suitable Job for a Woman

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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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