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    Review of SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH by Elizabeth Gunn (See her website)


    Walker & Company, 2002

    Just when Police Captain Jake Hines thinks he is caught up and can start to work on old cases, a group of grifters drifts into town running con games and minor heists. It isn't really a big problem, but Jake doesn't feel like he can ignore it. It turns into a big problem when one of the grifters turns up murdered in a garbage bin that belongs to one of his cops. Murder is a big deal, but who would murder someone over the type of embarasing con that grifters like this pull.

    Jake has his own problems with a house that has turned into a money pit, trouble adjusting to his new role as Captain, and a cop whose wife is a substance abuser, but he throws himself into the case. Things gradually begin to come together, but the pieces don't seem to connect in a logical way.

    Author Elizabeth Gunn delivers a page-turning novel with enough procedural details to satisfy the hard-core police fan, the evolving personal relationship between Jake and Trudy, walk-on farmers with personalities, and even thiefs with, if not hearts of gold, at least hearts of a sort. SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH isn't perfect--the ending seems a little rushed--but it is a fine and enjoyable story.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/08/02

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