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Night Crimes
by Judith Woolcock Colombo

Category: Fiction / Crime
330 pages; ISBN: 1-58851-174-X

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: The Happy Guy


It’s been at least a couple years since I’ve been so thoroughly entertained by a book.

Sure, Night Crimes is well-written, but that’s not what makes it so special. The writing is clear and
easy to follow (for those of us that lose ourselves easily in a complex story line). Actually, if I have
one criticism of the book, let me mention it up front: too much swearing by too many of the
characters (or is that a prerequisite in a novel with so many psychotics and police officers?).

And, the structure is easy to follow, but that’s not what makes it so special. We flit back and forth
between several simultaneous stories, trying to anticipate how and when they might intertwine.
Some of the chapters are first person accounts, mostly delving into the minds of the shadowy
characters, which was an exciting reminder of my favorite science fiction suspense novel, The
Third Pandemic, by Pierre Ouellette. In fact, the first two pages could be a short story unto
themselves – and at first I thought I had accidentally picked up an anthology of short stories.

Did I mention the characters? Well, that’s not what makes Night Crimes so special either. There
are plenty of them, and I won’t spoil the story by telling you how many have split personalities or
bizarre obsessions. Suffice to say that they are colorful and intriguing, and as the novel
progresses, the reader finds himself trying to uncover which characters play which role. And
several of them are semi-autobiographical (not the psychotic characters, of course).

What’s so special about Night Crimes? It’s the masterful way that Woolcock Colombo leads us to
help solve the mystery. There is no sudden revelation of who did what, just a slow and easy
discovery that puts the reader in the driver’s seat. Although most famous detective novels slowly
share clues with the reader, they traditionally tie them all together at the end with a big flourish.
Night Crimes lets us savour the discovery.

If you like suspense and you have somehow missed Night Crimes, pick it up right away. Ten out
of ten, no question.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of
maximum happiness.


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