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Hacktreks 2

First Chapters


APRIL 2003/ HARDCOVERS @ $36.95 Can.

'a genuinely wrenching and bloody literary work'

Author/Peter Blauner has written five increasingly alert, astutely observant, and ambitious novels centred upon crime and social dismay, and now rampant post- September 11th societal disarray. His latest book THE LAST GOOD DAY proves to be the break-through landmark one that blithely leaps over the more banal and pedestrian genre conventions, landing firmly upright on all fours as a genuinely wrenching and bloody literary work. One that evokes the tradition of Greek tragedy wherein small human flaws gather momentum heedlessly until events combine relentlessly and all hell breaks loose, with plain folks reverting to their primal roots as a competitive and possessive species.

The dismembered corpse of an unidentified woman bobs up to the tranquil surface of the Hudson River at the Riverside commuter rail station in Rockland County. Detective Lieutenant Mike Fallon, first deputy to Riverside police chief Harold Baltimore, is in charge of the subsequent investigation and re-encounters Lynn Schulman his high-school sweet-heart for whom he still carries an ardent and wildly inappropriate torch, though both are now married with children. Fallon is a man who has often exceeded the bounds of his duties as a police-officer, taking unfair advantage of the good citizens of Riverside though he believes that he is simply taking perks due to his conscientious devotion to duty, and the deeply entrenched roots of his family within this small community. Like so many human beings today he feels a sense of entitlement even for his trespasses.

Lynn’s husband Barry is a hot-shot lawyer with Retrogenesis, a bio-tech company developing an anti-Alzheimer’s drug that is failing badly. He conceals the entire truth from Lynn about their imminent bankruptcy just as she holds back on the absolute truth about her torrid love-affair with Mike Fallon, twenty-five years earlier. Foolishly the three principals dig themselves deeper and deeper into a legal dispute that threatens to tear apart the entire community. Mike’s headstrong actions lead him into becoming a suspect in the murder of Sandi Lanier, whose husband Jeffrey is also becoming unhinged by the failure of his sports-memorabilia on-line merchandising venture.

Writer Blauner cannily releases together a flood of memories, regrets and obsessions within the suspicious, egocentric minds of his characters,who as they are ageing have failed to come to terms with their actual limitations and their stiff-necked prideful natures. The intricate network of obligations between men and women who work and live closely together are fully caught in Blauner’s tender and insightful delineation of how things can go wrong so easily even among people of goodwill and generosity. Men and women convinced wrongly that justice always lies on their side and that the law will inevitably prove them right in the final analysis. If only that were true!

© Alex Grant May 2003

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