Ben Truman is Chief of Police in Versailles, Maine. Nothing ever happens in Versailles, Maine, unless you count the occasional drunk taking pot shots at streetlights. Then a body is found in a cabin up by the lake. The dead man turns out to be from the Boston DA's office, a prosecutor who had been investigating a series of gang-related murders in that city. Ben Truman heads down to Boston to follow the few fragile leads he has in the case.
Unwelcomed and unwanted by the police there, he knows he really should get the message and disappear back to the sticks. Big city Boston crime is beyond anything he's ever dealt with before.
But it rankles. This happened in his town, and he refuses to let it go. With the help of a retired cop who knows all the angles, Ben Truman keeps digging and becomes embroiled in an investigation which has its roots in a sequence of deaths that began 20 years previously. And it seems like all the people who should be on his side are doing their best to get in his way.
From its violent and shocking opening, through its vivid depictions of battle-scarred inner city Boston, to its intensely suspenseful conclusion, Mission Flats is the most thrilling literary crime novel in some years - combining intelligence and thoughtful, precise prose with compelling action. Bill Landay has the potential to be the next Scott Turow.
©2003 William Landay (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks
The hero is an improbably stupid, whining, lachrymose character, reflected perfectly in the narrator's voice. This is not the worst feature, which is that, at critical action points the author goes off on several minutes of purple prose: I wanted to hurl the iPhone at the wall in frustration. There are saccharine moments that are unbearable plus the obligatory heroine-and-everyone-turns-against-the-hero that is not remotely credible.
This really must be the most annoying book I have ever read!
The ‘hero’ spent most of his time philosophizing about everything, frequently mentioning that if one had previous knowledge one would not take certain actions etc ... Our hero was naive to say the least, and as dopey as he could possibly have been, considering he was a Police Chief, albeit in a small backwater town.
The story was poor – I saw most of the ‘surprises’ coming, and I must say it is the first time I have found myself shouting at the iPod with a ‘For goodness sake get on with it’.
There is mention of the relationship with an older retired cop who was his mentor, I felt that there was no relationship – just a few helpful hints offered now and then – no friendship or feeling.
The characters had absolutely no depth to them, and the paragraph after paragraph of meaningless thoughts about ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ really drove me mad,
I think that I wasted 13hrs and 28mins of my life with this book (length of audio version). I kept hoping that it would get better! It didn't!
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