|Plot Summary of Ahead of the Game|
Mira, Sep 2004, 6.50, 384 pp.
Following a divorce from Stuart and the loss of her job as an assistant director of the tech-services department of a Kansas City firm, Zoey Jones accompanied by her fourteen years old daughter Claire returns to her hometown of Blytheville, Missouri. She works at her uncle's bar feeling like the cheese in a sandwich as she struggles with the rebellion of her teen, the interference and “raids” of her home improvement mom and the failing health of her dad.
Detective Lieutenant Hank Westlake persuades Zoey to go out with him. However, their first date since she left for college years ago turns ugly when her father is arrested for the murder of Marlowe and the robbery of convenience stores. Though the evidence is overwhelming, Zoey refuses to believe that her dad, a kind veterinarian, could do these felonies. She begins her own inquiries only to find the proof getting increasingly stronger that her father did the deeds even as she falls in love with the cop that will put him away for life.
Though the motive seems on the surface way out even with our failed health care system, amateur sleuth romance readers will treasure this fine tale due to a powerful caring cast. The story line moves out on two subplots: the investigation (unofficial and official) and the romance with both intertwining through the relationship (at times dysfunctional) between Zoey and Hank.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Ahead of the Game|
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 - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Proving innocence of very obvious suspect
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards family/friends
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?
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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