Passions of the Dead by L.J. Sellers – review

September 14, 2011

In her latest book in the Detective Jackson series, L.J. Sellers goes beyond the headlines about the economic crisis by showing the human side of that equation, and the myriad unexpected and unforeseeable ripple effects and the desperation stemming from the “downturn” [read “collapse”] of the economy. In this particular case in point, the effects upon the town of Eugene, Oregon and its environs include job layoffs and a dearth of alternative ways of making a living and paying the rent, even to the extent of coming layoffs in the Eugene Police Dept., where Wade Jackson is told that two detectives, one from vice and one from his unit, Violent Crimes, will be cut before the week ends.

In the midst of that personal concern, the squad is called out to investigate what appears to be a home invasion which has left three family members dead and one seriously wounded. Were the family members just random targets? Or is something more personal at play here? Can it possibly be an escalation of a recent spate of carjackings in the area?

The author has again raised contemporary issues in a suspenseful tale of families and their complexities, examining the ramifications of a world struggling with financial uncertainty. She cunningly places flashback scenes going back a couple of months, strategically placed along the way of the present-day narrative, gradually bringing the reader up to speed to the date of the attacks. Another winner from L.J. Sellers, and recommended.

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Gloria Feit

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