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    Review of THE DEPTHS OF SOLITUDE by Jo Bannister

    A BRODIE FARRELL MYSTERY

    St. Martin's Minotaur, December 2004

    Brodie Farrell is saddened that her friend David has abandoned her, driven away by her failure to understand the decisions he made. But when she attempts to find him, she suddenly finds terrible things happening to her. A brick hits her car as she drives under a bridge. Her purse is stolen while she's sitting at a pub. Then her car is firebombed. Could David be so angry that he'd kill her rather than face her? Certainly Brodie can think of no other enemy.

    Brodie's problems escalate even after she finds David and persuades herself that her gentle friend could have nothing to do with the problems she's had. She's attacked in her house and her ex-husband, sent to guard her, is injured. Boyfriend and Police Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon, along with sidekick Sergeant Charlie Voss try to help, but Deacon starts to wonder whether Brodie really is the target. Could the attack on her be some sort of perverted attempt to strike at Deacon?

    Author Jo Bannister creates interesting characters in Deacon and Voss. Unfortunately, I found Brodie less compelling. Her narrowmindedness proves annoying, but not nearly as annoying as her risk-taking behavior. If she clearly recognized the risks and then decided to move forward, I could have admired her for her courage. Instead, she seems blindly to walk into danger--for herself and for others. Fortunately, Bannister clearly tells us how lovable and admirable Brodie is. Without this, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have guessed.

    THE DEPTHS OF SOLITUDE has its engaging moments and held my interest as a reader. Its flaws, however, make reading this story a mixed experience.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/31/05

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