Lena is a fingerprint expert at a crime lab in the small city of Syracuse, New York, where winters are cold and deep. Suddenly, a series of crib deaths--indistinguishable from SIDS except for the fevered testimony of one distraught mother with connections in high places--draws the attention of the police and the national media and raises the possibility of the inconceivabl...more
Lena Dawson is the rare first-person heroine with depth, who is written with such conviction and awareness that her development isn't encumbered by the first-person perspective. She is the lens through which we view a strange, seemingly disjointed flurry of events. Her world view...more
Abu-Jaber, Diana – 1st mystery
WW Norton & Company, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN:9780393064551
First Sentence: I spot her as soon as I get off the elevator on the fourth floor.
*** Fingerprint expert Lena Dawson possesses a heightened sense of smell and intuitive abilities that help her in her job with the Syracuse Police. She has no knowledge of her natural parents and, while raised by foster parents, as memories causing her to believe...more
This is the (unlikely) story of a forensics fingerprint clerk who finds herself investigating some (unlikely) mysterious crib death, which...more
Lena is a fingerprint analyst and extremely good at her job. She becomes involved in a case of babies that have died apparently of SIDS, but the truth is much more sinister. As Lena finds out more about the details of...more
In addition to the main character, I thought the book had great atmosphere. I've lived in a very cold place, and this book takes place in the winter time in Syracuse, New York. The snow and ice and dark lent great atmosphere to this story.
I didn't love it. There we...more
Storyline: Lena is a fing...more
The reward? A book that transcends categories. It's a mystery, though not one with an overwhelming plot. It's a book about relationships, though most of them are d...more
The writing was good and fairly tight....more
[close:] A fingerprint expert's investigation of a series of crib deaths leads her back to the mystery of her own childhood.
Lena is a fingerprint expert at a crime lab in the small city of Syracuse, New York, where winters are cold and deep. Suddenly, a series of crib deaths—indistinguishable from SIDS except for the fevered testimony of...more
Finished audio book. The reader is very good. The book...so so. Starts out with great promise. Lena Dawson is a forensics expert in Syracuse, NY. When a bunch of SIDS cases start showing up in the lab, Lena fears there is a baby serial killer. Lena herself was reared by a foster family that never adopted her, although they consider her their daughter. Lena also remembers (and spends a LOT of time thinking about) her ap...more
"I decide to work on the meditation exercises my counselor taught me, to practice being my human self."
"The beauty of (learning) one's own origin is that it lets you walk away from everything, from history, obligations, connections."
What type of isolation do you chose and which is worse/better?
You grow up an outcast, something not even human, you believe. You allow this to define you, set you apart and take courage from it. This is your life, unlike an...more
Lena is a foster child...more
Abu-jaber, Diane. (2007). Origin. New York: W.W. Norton
This novel is in the rarified category of “literary” crime novel, which means the characters are well-developed and the writing is above average (that’s the literary part) AND, it has a good, plausible crime story without too many loose ends (the crime genre part).
The main character and protagonist and first-person narrator is Lena, a thirty year-old fingerprint expert with the police crime lab in Syracuse, N.Y. She inves...more