Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Blind fury by Lynda LaPlante
I am a huge fan of Linda LaPlante, even though some of her work does not always reach the levels of her best work. Who's among us does? Once, after she’d directed a successful TV series, I saw some interviews with the actor stars. They said she did enormous amounts of research and followed real case developments closely in writing her own screenplays. Frankly, it shows. One of the best things about her dramas, whether for the reading, listening, or watching audience, is the authenticity of the voices. You know, (though you also fear, since she writes crime dramas) that these are the people one really has to work with: policemen and –women that struggle to grasp worlds outside of their own limited experience and education, brutal and unsympathetic sociopaths, fearful citizens that dread contact with police at the same time they rely on them for their safety. Put this together with the kismet of progress on a case—a fleeting thought, a chance encounter, a slip of the tongue that leads one to think in a new direction—and you have the beauty and skill of La Plante. She promises you nothing more than a reflection of our lives.
I listened to the audio of this title, read capably by Kim Hicks for AudioGo, copyright 2011. We are treated, not to a mystery that twists and turns in unexpected ways, nor presents a new suspect every chapter, but one which proceeds as one imagines a real case would proceed—building one piece of evidence upon another until the result is inescapable. Because we are so conditioned to reading mysteries with new suspects cropping up often, I posit we readers create our own doubts, and imagine more than is given us, developing the mystery into something more than is written. Blind Fury almost feels interactive, the way La Plante has written it.
This story begins with every police detective’s worst nightmare: with an unidentified body in a vacant lot. It ends with a conviction, and several people dead or destroyed. Our lead characters change and grow and learn right before our eyes, and ultimately we turn from the story with knowledge that weights us. Kudos to both La Plante and Hicks, both masters of voice.
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