Get Blog Posts Via Email

View RSS Feed


Book Author: Tracy Clark

FALL by Tracy Clark: Book Review

Work, more specifically her work as a detective in the Chicago Police Department, is now the only thing that is giving Harriet Foster’s life any meaning. 

Four years after the senseless murder of her teenaged son, she’s back in court to attend the re-sentencing of Reg’s killer.  At the time of the trial, Willem had been sentenced to ninety-nine years and a day without the possibility of parole, and now his court-appointed attorney wants it reduced to seventy-five years with the possibility of parole.

Harriet starts to speak from her prepared statement, but then she puts it aside and begins to speak from her heart.  She concludes by saying, “Given the same chance, he’d do the same again, and we all know it.”  The reduction in Willem’s sentence is denied, and Harriet’s life, such as it is, continues.

Then the novel switches its focus from Harriet to Marin Shaw on the day of the latter’s release from prison.  Formerly a member of the Chicago city aldermen council, Marin was convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years of imprisonment, her career thrown away for “$5,000, a two-martini lunch, and a lie.”

Her biggest regret is how she left things with her teenaged daughter Zoe.  Her husband Will is making every effort he can to thwart Marin’s attempt to spend time with Zoe and heal their relationship, but Marin is determined to persist.

Her best friend and lawyer, Charlotte Moore, is suggesting that she wait a week before contacting Zoe and that she stay at their downtown condo rather than return to the suburban house she and Will own. Marin reluctantly agrees, saying she will use the time to “settle some things.”  But when Charlotte asks, “What things?,” Marin doesn’t answer.

At the same time, several members of the Chicago aldermen council are reassessing their positions now that Marin has completed her sentence.  Two of them are feeling guilty, knowing they were as involved in the corruption as she was, but John Meehan, the man with the most power, has no feeling of remorse at all.  He simply wants to make certain Marin isn’t planning any kind of tell-all scenario that will implicate him and the others.

“No one walks away.  I know where the bodies are buried…,” he tells his colleagues in his attempt to control them, but regardless of his threat, two of the aldermen do walk out of the meeting.  Then one of those aldermen is killed, and the investigation moves Harriet into the lead on what becomes a media frenzy.

Harriet has an additional concern.  She and Vera Li have been partners for just about a year, ever since the suicide of her former partner and friend Glynnis Thompson.  Needless to say, Harriet was devastated, as was the entire homicide department.  Now Mike, Glynnis’ husband, has come to the police station to show Harriet what was placed in his mailbox two days earlier–a photo of his late wife who appears to be receiving a payoff from an unknown man.

Tracy Clark has written a spellbinding mystery that features a thrilling plot, believable characters, and a protagonist who is smart, tenacious, and above all human.  Foster has faults as well as strengths, and she is working hard to move ahead with her life, shattered as it has become.  Readers will root for her every step of the way.

You can read more about the author at this website.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her website.  In addition to book review posts, there are sections featuring Golden OldiesPast Masters and Mistresses, and an About Marilyn column that features her opinions about everything to do with mystery novels.