Saturday, April 18, 2009


Title: DeadLock
Author: Sara Paretsky
Publisher: Dell Publishing, 1984

For detective kind of novels, usually I can figure out the story and the murder/killer half way through the book, but for this one, the author kept the secrets to the very last. On the way, she managed to keep the reader's interest alive. I must say the author has excellent writing skills.

There are some interesting points about this book:

1. The book was published in 1984, the story was set in the background of 1981/82. Looking back, 1980s was such a backward, low-tech period. In the novel, the main character, Vicky, had to constantly looking for a phone to make phone calls, to try to reach whoever she wants to talk to. Such problems will be less of a problem in modern days with the proliferation of hand phones :)

2. I don't know US laws well, but in the beginning, the main character became both a beneficiary and will executor for his late cousin, hockey star Boom Boom. In Singapore's context, it will make the will be invalid as the executor and beneficiary can't be the same person under Singapore Law.

3. The story is about business in the shipping industry in the Great Lake area. It unavoidably has detailed descriptions of the ships, different parts of a ship, etc. Somehow I find the description not completely realistic as what she described is different from what I know, based on my short 2-month working experience in a ship yard. For example, the engine room. You can't really get to the engine room without getting dirty. Another example is that you can't really sneak onto a ship unnoticed, especially when the ship is at the dock and if you don't wear a hard hat, or a 'helmet'.

4. The author paints a very negative image about the police. In the story, the police is incapable and always go for the easy way out. I don't know how true it is in the US, but in some other countries, that's the sad fact :(

5. Women always eat very little but drink a lot :P

All in all, this is quite an interesting read.

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