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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Act of Deceit (Harlan Donnally #1) by Steven Gore


A very busy book that just didn't do it for me.

I enjoyed meeting retired detective Harlan Donnally who was forced to retire due to an injury sustained during a shootout. He goes about his business with a battered body but a world class commitment to following the trail to wherever it leads.

But, the book has so many twists and turns that it felt like the author was whipsawing the story around just build an artificial sense of tension. We start out with an investigation that dates back to the Haight Ashbury Summer of Love movement in San Francisco but the investigation soon veers into other territory: Catholic priest sex abuse and international sex trafficking as well as the dynamics of the dysfunctional relationship between a father and son. The first part was interesting to me, the last part - old and tired territory.

Gore notes at the end of the book that his wife is involved in investigating Catholic priest sex abuse accusations in the San Francisco area, which is the inspiration for involving that angle in this story. However, I for one am tired of having that brought into so many stories. Was every priest a pedophile? Hardly, but you wouldn't know it from the bestseller list.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on October 20, 2011.


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