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Monday
Apr082013

Review: The Green Line

The Green Line by E.C. Diskin (Wells St. Press, June 2013, 315 pages, ISBN 978-0-9888906-0-2)

Pre-publication review 
 
Review by Renee James
 
If you like taut, fast-moving plots and riveting characters who evolve in the course of the story, E.C. Diskin's The Green Line will be a wonderful change of pace from the steady stream of formulaic mysteries that tend to dominate the mystery/suspense genre today.
 
The story opens with Abby Donovan, a stressed, career-obsessed attorney with a large firm in the Chicago Loop, blundering into a west side ghetto late at night where she runs in terror from gangbangers, dodges menacing thugs and dope dealers, and finds a dead body. It is a creepy, nightmarish night in which nothing is what it seems to be and after which, Abby's life will never be the same.
 
Diskin draws her characters with great deftness, especially the lead character. A Chicago-based attorney herself, Diskin paints Abby's world with remarkable depth, from the inner workings of a large law firm to the inner thoughts of a goal-focused young attorney. As the plot moves along, we learn about Abby's human qualities and identify with her more and more, all of which makes our concern for her intensify.
 

The Green Line gives us a main character we haven't met before, a nuanced plot, and an insightful and interesting look at the practice of law in today's America.

 
The unease that begins with the book's opening makes every character and every chapter more intense. We're never sure who the good guys and the bad guys are, or how things will turn out for Abby. As a result, the book is a fast, fascinating read and it gives the reader a number of secondary bonuses along the way to its thrilling conclusion. One is the look inside the Chicago court system, another is an in-depth look at how law-abiding citizens can be (and are) the victims of a well-intentioned law created to fight drug traffickers. Still another is a visual tour of contrasting Chicago metro-area neighborhoods, from the dark depths of late-light Cicero to the gilded finery of the elite north shore suburbs.
 
I loved reading this book and I recommend it to others with great enthusiasm. It is brilliantly written and edited. It rates at the highest end of the interesting and entertaining scale. It gives us a main character we haven't met before, a nuanced plot, and an insightful and interesting look at the practice of law in today's America.
 
Coming in June. Win a free advance copy through Goodreads Giveaway!

 

 

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