Thursday, January 08, 2004

Book review of Detective

Detective is a novel by Arthur Hailey on well, detectives. As readers of Hailey know, his novels are built around a particular sphere of life, like Money Changers (about bankers), Evening News (about Newsreaders), Wheels (about Detroit Executives), Overload (about electric utility services) and so on. In the same vein Detective is built around the protagonist Ainslie, Homicide sergeant in Miami Police and a former Catholic priest.

A serial killer on death row, Elroy Doil wants to confess to Ainslie hours before execution. It was Ainslie who tracked and arrested Doil. Doil confesses that he committed all the murders (fourteen , you have grisly details about them all) except the two. Then who committed those two murders? From the beginning Ainslie had doubts about those murders and he re-opens the case and ...., well you get the drift.

The novel has seemingly unrelated incidents in the Miami Police department but in the end all these are tied together neatly, like in Tamil movies. The fact that the protagonist is a former priest gives enough room for the novelist to explore some philosophy.

May be I have read too many of such novels, that I was able to identify the killer half way through. There is lot of explicit violence mentioned, so beware. Like all Hailey novels you get an insider's view on how the Police department functions. A good sunday read but nothing to go out of your way for is my verdict.

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