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Close Case: A Samantha Kincaid Mystery

by Alafair Burke

Published by Henry Holt

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Investigating the brutal murder of a hotshot journalist, Samantha Kincaid finds herself caught in the middle of an increasingly personal -- and potentially dangerous -- struggle between Portland's police and the DA's office.

For Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid's thirty-second birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide call-out. The crime scene: the elite Hillside neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. The victim: star investigative reporter Percy Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.

Tensions in the city have been running high. The previous week, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed mother of two in what he claims was self-defense; in the aftermath, protestors have waged increasingly agitated anti-police demonstrations. Crenshaw's death, it seems, is not unrelated: within a matter of hours, police arrest two young men who appear to have embarked on a crime spree in the aftermath of the protests. The case looks straightforward, especially when one of the suspects confesses. But then the man recants, claiming coercive police tactics, and Samantha finds herself digging for more evidence. Following Crenshaw's steps, her search leads her through an elaborate maze of connections between the city's drug trade and officers in the bureau's Northeast precinct.

Samantha's pursuit of the truth puts her in the middle of city political battles and on the outs with the cops, including her new live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes. Worse yet, it puts her on the dangerous side of the line that can divide good cops from bad. Unsure whom to trust, Samantha tracks the path of clues left by Crenshaw, a path that could lead her to the same fatal end.

On the heels of the "compelling" Missing Justice (The Oregonian), Close Case proves to be Alafair Burke's most suspenseful and powerful novel yet.


pub date: 2005-07-06 | hardcover | 9780805077841