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The Green Line

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,152 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Abby Donovan’s decade-long dream of partnership at her prestigious Chicago law firm is just months from fruition. But it’s all about to change because of one misstep.

One step onto a late-night train headed in the wrong direction. Headed into Chicago’s west side, where gangs and violence and drugs fill the streets.

In this engaging debut, E.C. Diskin, a former Chicago atto
Paperback, 332 pages
Published May 20th 2013 by Wells St. Press (first published May 8th 2013)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  3,152 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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 Li'l Owl
If you can't trust the police, who can you trust?
A thrilling debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

She wasn’t from Chicago. Everyone she knew lived north of the Loop, along the lake, where the city was vibrant, full of restaurants, boutiques, and chain stores, and where she’d always felt relatively safe. All Abby had ever been told of the area west of the Loop was, “You don’t want to go there.” Last week’s front-page story in the Tribune had highlighted this fact. The article, which
Lewis Weinstein
an outstanding read ... many characters and story lines are woven into a tense page-turner ... especially good for a first novel

the story focuses on bad cops in Chicago and it is revolting to think how much may be based on truth

not perfect ... but the problems are small and inconsequential to the overall enjoyment
Brian Smith
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm Smarter after Reading "The Green Line"

There's a popular saying among those who teach writing—"Write what you know." E. C. Diskin has taken her skills as a lawyer and nicely crafted them into the telling of Abby Donovan's story. She teaches us about a law that may motivate corruption within the social services we depend on. She walks us through the routines of being a lawyer—something we rarely experience. She uses this to dig our protagonist deeper and deeper into conflict until we truly can
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone familiar with Chicago looking for a light thriller
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: Brian Smith's review of the book in GR
Shelves: chicago, fiction, thriller
The eponymous Green Line (what was formerly known as the Lake Street L) passes through a checkerboard of depressed neighborhoods collectively called the “westside.” These are the kinds of neighborhoods where an attractive, dressed-for-success, twenty something female will attract the wrong kind of attention when wandering the streets at midnight. Yet, that's where Abby Donovan, finds herself after she boards the wrong train and promptly dozes off. She awakens to the taunts of some leering gangba ...more
Mindy Mejia
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: legal-thrills
A debut legal thriller that delivers. Abby Donovan is an associate at a prestigious law firm in Chicago working 80+ hour weeks on her quest to become partner, when she accidentally takes the Green Line train on her way home. Stranded in gritty west Chicago, she stumbles on a horrific crime that changes her life. Unable to forget the gangs, drugs, or violence, she reconnects with the good samaritan immigrant who rescued her that night and helps him defend himself against unjust charges brought by ...more
Liz Keegans
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I've waited a couple of days before I wrote this review but I haven't changed my mind: this was just ok. At first, I didn't think Abby was engaging but thought she became a stronger character towards the end; same with Marcus. Although, after I read each of their "stories", I liked each of the characters much better. I did think all the "timing" was a bit fortuitous; especially the hotel scene and the final scene with Trip. I'm not sure if this is the beginning of a series or not but I'm not sur ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great first effort. Plotting is first-rate. Some characters are bit shallow and predictable; the bad guy a bit too through-and-through bad, but I expect that Diskin's 2nd novel will show substantial improvement. Still a fun and fast read and perfect to knock out in a single weekend - like the ExPats, if you've read it. ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

I've been on a roll! The last several books I've read have been very good. Maybe, it's because the last three have been E. C. Diskin. Reading each of her three thrillers has been a unique experience, they are not just variations of the same book.

Abby is an attorney on the partner track with a large Chicago firm. She is over worked, overwhelmed and over tired when she accidentally gets on the wrong train heading home from a late night at the office. About fifteen minutes into her
Alys Marchand
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is why people with experience in criminal law should be the ones to write books about criminal law. We've go plenty of books and TV shows written by people who are interested in law, but don't truly understand it. Analysts have said Casey Anthony may have gotten away with murder because the jurors claimed that, while they were thoroughly convinced she did it, they didn't think that "beyond a shadow of doubt" had been met. Folks, correctly it's a reasonable doubt.

Read Diskin's book and
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I really liked another book by this author called Broken Grace so I thought I would give this one a try. The book started off really well, I got into it right away and continued so through half the book approximately. It started to slow down quite a bit and not only that I became annoyed with how careless and nonchalant Abby became but yet she was so scared. Example: when she went to Einstein Bagel to pick up some lunch while they were pretty much breaking and entering to gather information on s ...more
Tanya Cain
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great find! I've been searching for a legal thriller and discovered a gem. Diskin keeps you perched on the edge of your seat with a fast-paced, compelling novel centered on a fascinating legal issue that begs for exposure. The characters are memorable, the story line fascinating, and the suspense non-stop. I loved the brilliant ending and could not put it down. A definite must read for any summer reading list!

The Green Line by E.C. Diskin
Agnes (BookBubbe)
Love this author..never disappoints me. Again, we find ourselves intrigued in the lives of people who get themselves involved. Abby is a lawyer, gets on the wrong train to go home late at night and finds herself in the worst of neighborhoods.

Not only does she witness a murder but she becomes involved with corruption, drugs, gangs which lead to her own fear of her safety. Her work suffers and she doesnt know who to trust. Along comes an undercover cop who together decide to uncover this mass scam
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have become such a fan of E.C. Diskin!! What a coincidence that the first book I read by this author took place where I grew up in Southwest lower Michigan. And this book takes place where I live now, Chicago!! Have to give five stars for tackling race, police brutality and suspense in a very thoughtful yet heart pounding way. I wish this was book one to a series actually as I was quite attached to the characters. I also appreciate and applaud the author for adding relatable and diverse charac ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bravo E.C. Diskin! I won this book in a Goodreads give away...and it has a little bit of everything...Lawyers, good cops & bad cops..drugs, a part of the law that you don't hear much about. The characters are well developed...and the author did a remarkable job of making you hate the antagonist, while the main character is so likeable. A good look at how one misstep can change your life forever! Definitely a must read! ...more
The Badger
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having read Broken Grace first, I was expecting another psychological suspense novel. The Green Line is actually in a completely different genre (legal/criminal), but is inspiring in that Diskin not only knows her stuff (she has a history practicing law), but is clearly impassioned about the issue of illegal police seizures of property.

What I absolutely LOVED about the book was that the main character, Abby, made ethics her priority knowing that her employment might very well suffer. As a couns
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing the whispersync audio version...

I'm going to rate the novel 4.5 stars but the audio version I can't give higher than a 3 because I just don't think this narrator was a good fit. The voices of several of the main characters didn't ring true. Granted the bad guy was a psychopath, everything you said was a little too nursery rhyme, sing-songy. And I really couldn't reconcile the voice of Marcus with the character Marcus. It came across as high pitch and like the cadence was off everything
Stephanie Bird
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I would like this book. I was leery of how the West Side of Chicago, a notoriously under-served area with a largely African American population, would be portrayed by E. C. Diskin. I was pleasantly surprised by her skill as a writer. Though she comes far from this community she did an admirable job of making you feel as though you were actually there walking around in that neighborhood.

I've ridden the Green Line and can only imagine the fear that would sweep over someone not from
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Abby is an attorney in Chicago. One night after working late she gets on the wrong train to go home. She's exhausted and falls asleep for a few minutes only to realize her mistake when she wakes. A couple thugs begin to harass her and she gets off at the next stop. Her cell phone is dead, it's raining and she looks for a place open to use the phone. She comes to a shady, hole in the wall bar and enters. Things then go from bad to worse.

This was a story I found very interesting all the w
Brenda Todd
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Green Line. It is a book that makes you begin to think about life around you. Are you safe? Can you trust your neighbor, the policeman that patrols your neighborhood? And just what will some people do for money and stature in the community and with family? It becomes difficult to separate the good from the bad. Your expectations of receiving help when needed may now be blurred. Abby, the main character in the book, is an attorney working hard to become a partner in her firm ...more
Jerry Delaney
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Not the kind of book I usually pick up, but I'm glad I did. The author is a friend of someone I work with and I was asked to check it out. A summation of the beginning plot line might sound unconvincing, but that's not the way it reads. It felt possible and realistic and truly harrowing. The story concerns police corruption, and the author, a former lawyer, is passionate about laws that allow the exploitation of unconnected people without much money. As a Chicagoan I felt that Diskin got most of ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was suspenseful from the first page. I could just imagine falling asleep on the subway and winding up clear out in the dangerous part of town at 11:00 p.m. Yikes!!! The tension stays steady, although I found many areas of the book to be just too unbelievable (An undercover drug cop can change his 'outfit' on the sidewalk by merely taking off his gold chain necklace? And then walk around contentedly? Please.....) There were other areas in the book like that too, but I kept with it and i ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, mystery, fiction
Wow - it takes off at a furious speed and really doesn't let up till the end. From the beginning of the book, I was with Abby on the train in Chicago and the pages flew as I was sure she was a gonner. This book has it all, lawyers, good cops, and bad cops. I also learned about "forfeiture laws" which is a bit scary. The only reason for not giving it a 5 star was that there were a few times when I thought Abby did some reckless things but I guess it was needed to move the plot along.

May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
The Green Line is an okay mystery, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. The plot moves along and writing is decent. The main character is supposed to be a smart attorney but she does some astonishingly stupid things that just serve to move the plot along. My ability to suspend disbelief was certainly stretched. This would have been a decent beach read I guess - it's not challenging and won't force the reader to think too hard but is paced well and wraps up with a tidy bow on top. ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by: Debby
I almost stopped at the first chapter because it seemed like this was some sort of racist horror story. But I decided to keep reading because the person who suggested this would never read a horror story.

Glad I did.

I was quite interested in the Chicago setting, the mention of Oak Park, and the expose of how police departments used the War on Drugs to exploit the most vulnerable of our population.

Gina Basham
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good

I lived in Chicago for 25 years off the Green line in Oak Park so it was so fun reading about places I knew. Loved the storyline. It was exciting from start to finish. I could totally see how the events could unfold. Great writing and very entertaining. I can recommend. Gbash
Andy & Kristi Rawcliffe
Potential not realized

This book had a lot of potential, but the writing was very poor, meandering between romance novel and thriller wannabe. The characters were poorly developed and unlikable, and the story. was a little too contrived. Not recommended.
Kim Stringfellow Long

What a great read! Fantastic story with engaging characters. I literally had a hard time putting this down it was that good.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Abby Donovan’s decade-long dream of partnership at her prestigious Chicago law firm is just months from fruition. But it’s all about to change because of one misstep.”

Life was going along precisely as Abby Donovan had planned. She had a great job in a prestigious law firm where she was well respected and soon to make partner, a nice home in Chicago, and good friends. She could almost pretend it was perfect if it weren’t for the fact that the love of her life was engaged to another woman now
Feb 24, 2018 added it
Kept my interest. Interesting since it was set in Chicago. Easy to read.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This was really well written, and it's obvious that the author knows what she's talking about. Not only that, but the character development was well done, not cheesy like in so many other crime novels, and the ending wasn't obvious. ...more
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E.C. Diskin studied Radio/TV/Film and English in Texas (TCU), moved to New York to dance with a tap dance company in Soho, and finally became "an adult" when she moved to Chicago for law school. But after several years behind a desk, a drawer full of story ideas, and two little ones at home, she took a break from the law and began writing fiction. Fortunately, the fantasy of living a creative life ...more

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