Christina M. Hinke



The Cleanup

Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
Publishers Weekly
Sept. 11, 2006
Sean Doolittle. Dell, $6.99 (336p) ISBN-10: 0-440-24282-7

The unlikely tale of an unsuccessful cop, a cute grocery check-out girl and her dead boyfriend gives Doolittle (Raindogs) plenty to chew on in his latest crime novel. Officer Matthew Worth, a divorcé with little going for him-careerwise in particular-works security at an Omaha supermarket, where he's developed a crush on check-out clerk Gwen. Innocent flirtation turns messy when Gwen kills her abusive boyfriend and turns to Worth for help, pleading self-defense. Instead of calling it in, Worth decides to cover up the murder, leading to trouble with two dirty narcs who were involved with the murder victim in a money-laundering scheme. From there, secrets, lies and murders pile up, pushing Worth from every direction at once. Doolittle has penned a character-driven yet suspenseful novel about choice and consequence, with a well-crafted lead and a narrative style that's punchy and sincere. Though Worth's motivation is sometimes unclear (even, at times, to himself), readers looking for a tense crime drama-hold the procedure-will enjoy getting inside the head of this well-meaning sad sack.(Nov.)

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