Apparition Alley

Reviewed by andy smart

Apperition Alley features LAPD detective Kate Delafied, in a good sound "police procedural". The novel is up to the standard of Liberty Square also reviewed on this site, I found myself still awake and reading in the wee small hours, only to find myself upset that I'd finished it! Unfortunately I can't give you to much plot information without giving you too many clues....

The novel begins with Kate being shot through the shoulder in the line of duty arresting a teenager suspect along with partner Torrie and others. The injury puts her off-duty for a while, not only through the physical injury but also as a result of the insistence of her superiors that she goes for counselling. Needless to say Kate loathes the whole counselling process as it requires her to do all the things she's worst at, examine her feelings, look at her relationships, face up to her past, etc. We see the counsellor entirely through her eyes but the writing is so skilful that we have no trouble seeing that she is in fact more reasonable than Kate is prepared to admit.

While not on active duty she finds herself persuaded to act as the defence representative for a police officer accused of killing a drug dealer in Apparition Alley. While Kate is far from willing at first given the reputation of the officer concerned she becomes convinced that there is more to the shooting than at first appears and agrees to investigate. She threads her way through a minefield of politics, homophobia and deceit until all is resolved.

Of course her girlfriend Aimee features in a big way, lending support and concern in equal measure; their relationship is one of the issues she covers with her therapist. The book also has as a major subtheme the issue of coming out and 'outing' - presenting both powerful arguments for and against the practice of revealing the identity of police officers in the closet; the reader is left to decide for themselves. For me one of the most meaningful characters is 'inch at a time Eileen' - she only appears for a couple of lines but she made a big impression on me. This is a book I wouldn't hesitate to recommend

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