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The Commission    by Michael Norman order for
by Michael Norman
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Chairman Levi Vogue of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole is shot in the driveway of his home. His private life was a little more exciting than his public one entertaining a teenage stripper when he could get away from his wife. Did his death have anything to do with this young but worldly girl?

As Chief of the Special Investigations Branch of the Utah Department of Corrections, Sam Kincaid is assigned to help in the investigation of Vogue's demise, alongside homicide detective Kate McConnell. Behind bars in the state prison system is another world, one that must be examined for the possibility of misdeeds by correction officers - and a possible connection to the murder.

Michael Norman, author of The Commission, has nailed it on the head with his first novel. It's exciting and fast-paced, with a plot that hangs together in every detail. Corruption - that could happen in any state of the Union - is detailed in matter of fact verbiage that makes one wonder just how prevalent the abuses of this fictional account could be in reality. The dialogue tells a good part of the story, which makes for good communication with the reader - characters come alive through their words.

Norman is now a professor of criminal justice at a Utah university. Luckily for his readers, he is working on the second offering of this intriguing new series.

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