Monday, February 25, 2008

Mystery Writers of America Presents the Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals, and the Chase

Mystery Writers of America Presents the Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals, and the Chase
Edited by Michael Connolly
Little, Brown, Apr 2008, $24.99
ISBN: 9780316012515

These entertaining nineteen tales focus on the police procedural theme. However, as Mr. Connolly explains in his introduction, for the most part the entries concentrate on the “world of the cop” as the stories “explore the burden of the badge” more so than investigative procedures. The contributions run the gamut with a strong historical by Polly Nelson to the return of Harry Bosch to a retired cop and his wife running into trouble (T. Jefferson Parker’s “Skinhead Central). There are no clinkers yet the range is vast from a dark tale of a selected amnesiac (“Such a Lucky, Pretty Girl: by Persia Walker) to amusingly light (Jon Breen’s "Serial Killer"). All are excellent, especially insightful is Paul Guyton’s tense "What a Wonderful World" that proves a short story can contain fully developed characters; an apropos title along with Alafair Burke’s “Winning” as this anthology is a wonderful look at individual members of the Blue Religion special congregation.

Harriet Klausner

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