Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review of And Grant You Peace by Kate Flora

And Grant You Peace
by Kate Flora
Mystery/Police Procedural

Reviewed by Lisa Haselton

The fourth Joe Burgess Mystery is coming soon, but I was able to read an advance readers copy and here's what I thought about the novel.

It was breath taking. Literally. I felt I was on Burgess' shoulder throughout the story (at one time I even thought about ducking behind Burgess so I wouldn't get shot). It wasn't just the fast-paced, crisp writing that had me feeling that way, it was the scenarios the cast of characters found themselves in and the immense attention to detail shared with the reader.

Author Kate Flora likes to get the details right and she spends a lot of time with on-the-job officers asking questions, doing ride-a-longs, and getting hands-on experience to do just that.

One scene in particular will stick with me - without giving away all the details, I'll just say it was a scene with off-duty officers encountering an unpleasant situation. The scene was so well written that I saw it clearly and my heart raced as the officers took things second by second. And that's not saying the scene was drawn out, it wasn't, it was written so the reader was in the moment with the characters. And Flora was able to do that because of her research. What really struck me is that Flora didn't stop the scene until the officers were out of the situation and able to take a breath, think about what happened, and basically say 'oh shit, that just happened.'

I can't think of another novel where I've been with officers after an incident -- it's usually, wham-bam-slam and racing off to the next bad guy. This novel is akin to a-few-days-in-the-life-with-an-actual-on-the-job-detective in Portland, Maine.

I don't know how I haven't read the earlier Burgess books, but now I have to. This worked well as a standalone, obviously, and I don't feel I'm missing out on anything, but I'm curious to see how Burgess has changed over the course of the novels. 

Along with the Joe Burgess gritty police procedurals, Flora’s 12 books include the Thea Kozak mysteries, and her true crime books, Finding Amy and Death Dealer (which I reviewed last month)When she’s not writing, or teaching at Grub Street in Boston, she’s in her garden, waging a constant battle against critters, pests, and her husband’s lawnmower. 

I wasn't quite as exhausted as Joe Burgess by the time I finished the novel, but I was close. The writing is so well done that I was in the moment with the character through all 330 pages. I can not imagine being a police officer or detective where a phone call can change your life so incredibly quickly. I need some structure to my day and know that I will be able to eat when I want, take breaks when I want, and most importantly sleep when I need to. I'm hoping Joe Burgess and his team have some downtime now before the next phone call!

This is an exciting read, but make sure to have the seat belt secured before opening the book.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kate, her fiction or non-fiction, visit her website, or check out her posts on the Maine Crime Writers blog. 

Release date: October 22, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2939-1
Publisher: Five Star; A part of Gale, Cengage Learning

(I received an ARC of this book with no promise of a review of any kind.)

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