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Flight    by Jan Burke order for
by Jan Burke
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Flight begins with a ten year flashback to a family's murder by the Looking Glass Man. Star Homicide detective Philip Lefebvre, who happens to be a friend of young reporter Irene Kelly, discovers the victims including a teenage boy Seth still clinging to life. Soon afterwards his suspicions are raised about involvement by members of his own department, Seth is murdered, and Lefebvre flees to consult his mentor. His small plane crashes and the detective is assumed by his peers to be the guilty party.

Ten years later the plane is found and the case assigned to Irene's husband, Frank Harriman, who quickly is convinced of Lefebvre's innocence, a highly unpopular view in a department that (before his own time) felt tarnished by a cop's corruption and murder of a child in their care. Frank's closest friends pressure and cold shoulder him. At the same time as he is digging out clues and old secrets, the Looking Glass Man (looking over his shoulder) starts to strike back. One of his early victims is Frank's Captain, Bredloe, who is felled by means of a paper airplane, thus continuing the theme of flight. Bombs follow and another child and Irene are amongst those endangered.

Burke has given us a well-plotted thriller with lots of action and excitement, but not nearly enough of Irene, who is peripheral to this story. Though it was nice to spend a little more time with Ben Sheridan and his cadaver dog Bingle, it did not make up for the absence of one of my favorite mystery heroines. Overall, I found Flight a good read but disappointing after Bones, which reached a higher level of the genre.

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