David's Reviews > Resolved

Resolved by Robert K. Tanenbaum
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's review
Nov 01, 2010

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Read in November, 2010

Tanenbaum is a heck of a writer. He gets the reader to do more than enjoy a thriller with an interesting plot and interesting characters-- he forces the reader to evaluate some of life's ethical\spiritual issues.

For example, Lucy has a discussion with a priest regarding demonic possession. The conversation begins with the concept that what we call demonic possession is more of a mental illness issue, but concludes with a recognition that it may begin with mental illness, but that some people revel in their illness and their sickness and therefore invite demonic activity into their lives.

Butch and several others discuss the sanctity of the law. Butch recounts a former D.A. who called in a number of staffers and chastised them for their disrespect for the law because of a sex-party\beerbust they held one Christmas at the D.A.'s office. They talk about the important to earn the respect of the people that they work for and not to bring shame upon the office of the D.A.

Lucy and her boyfriend discuss her vow of chastity until marriage (which is in stark contrast with most characters) and how this vow brings her closer to God. This discussion lasts a number of pages.

Butch continues to battle the use of the law as a political tool.

The characters in this series are fascinating. Gian Carlo was blinded in his last book, but now plays the accdordian on the street, mocking his disabilty. Lucy continues her staunch Catholic religious practices such as helping the poor and maintaining her virginity. Marlene is torn by her actions in the last book (Absolute Rage) and troubled by her guilt, but also compelled to continue solving problems through violence.

In this book, enter a terrorist cell which chooses to use ultra baddie, Felix, a villain from one of the earlier books, who wants revenge on the karp family. Felix is a sadist, a heartless and cruel man. When he gets the chance to escape from prison he is forced to help the terrorist cell, only to discover that he is just the fall guy.

Tanenbaum takes a few short cuts in his resolution. After awhile, one tires of seeing that Lucy knows someone who can do the violence that she would never do herself, but that she would enlist them. We tire of the clever guard dogs who avert disaster from time to time. We are shocked at the lame coincidence the author uses to places his characters at the right place and the right (or wrong) time.

STILL-- You'll note I gave this one three stars. Why? Because Tanenbaum writes his characters with more depth than the usual pulp in the thriller market. He puts us into their thinking and we begin to understand why they act in the manner that they do. We seem them striving to be noble, to be pure, to be strong, and sometimes failing. We see them as special people, not cutouts of each other. And because Tanenbaum makes his readers think, his novels, even with coincidence filled plots and unbelieveable rescues, are worth reading.

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Mary JL I agree. Despite many plot holes in various book. the contining characters are what I keep coming back for!

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