|Plot Summary of The Rampant Reaper|
St. Martin's, Aug 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
Though her preference would be to stay home in Southern California, literary agent Charlie Greene agrees to accompany her adopted mother attending a funeral in Myrtle, Iowa. Charlie has not met this side of the family that has never accepted adoption as a source of viable kin. Still, Charlie would do almost anything for her mother, biology professor Edwina Greene, including meeting the extended family even in this backwater.
Once there, Charlie realizes she has an opportunity to uncover the identity of her biological mother, but instead ends up at Gentle Oaks Nursing Home. Though elderly, the patients seem more than senile than the average geriatrics. Most of the senior citizens act petrified in mind and body leaving Charlie to wonder why society allows people to live with what appears no dignity, hope or thought. Apparently someone agrees with Charlie because someone begins killing the residents. Encouraged to uncover the truth, Charlie begins to investigate what seem to be euthanasia killings.
The latest Charlie Green mystery, THE RAMPANT REAPER, is a strange eccentric amateur sleuth tale. The story line centers on what to do for the aging especially when the mind goes and the body is not lagging far behind. However, Marlys Millhiser's efforts to use humor to diffuse the seriousness of the topic come across as iniquitous because the cast including the heroine is nasty. Fans who don't mind an ensemble of misanthropes will enjoy Charlie's sleuthing and the insight into a problem that society would prefer die away.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of The Rampant Reaper|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 60%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in that culture
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- business executive
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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