Recently transferred from homicide to sex crimes, Chicago police detective Sloane Pearson pursues a serial rapist in Edgar-winner Schwegel's gritty fourth crime novel. Called in to interview the second in a series of victims who were beaten, raped and nearly strangled to death, Pearson knows the only way she'll have a case is if the traumatized woman will talk. But without a crime scene or detailed description of the attacker, Pearson's leads dry up fast. As she retraces the victims' steps, she uncovers a common thread that winds from the dilapidated blocks where the rapes occurred to one of the city's glitzy property development companies.
I picked up Last Known Address and started reading it a week ago. Today, I'm on page 119. That's 17 pages a day. Now, I know I'm not the worlds fastest reader, but I'm sure as heck not the slowest either. It has become obvious to me that I'm just not diggin' this book.
First, I thought the problem was that it was part of a series, because from the first page, I felt like I was missing something. According to Amazon, the main character was "introduced" in Schwegel's previous novel, Probable Cause. I guess its possible that Probable Cause fleshed out the main character of Last Known Address and that to get into this book, I should have read that one first. And I might....maybe....someday....I guess its possible....then I could pick up Last Known Address and try again. Maybe.
Schwegel's protagonist, Sloane Pearson, kind of irritated me. Okay, I get it, she's a woman in a man's world. The big bad men are sexist and offensive. Sheesh...get over it. It's like a fireman complaining that he'd love his job if it wasn't so hot. A farmer complaining about the amount of cow$#&! he shovels. Well...duh!!...Whaddya' expect?? When my oldest daughter would play street hockey with her big brother and all his friends, 9 times out of 10, she'd appear in the house crying because she got bumped or hurt. "I warned you," said I, applying ice and hugs, "If you want to play with the big boys, you'd better learn to play rough." Maybe because I grew up on a farm, and then spent the last 33 years around construction crews, I tend to be immune from sexist comments. Maybe I just have a really thick hide; all the humbug about the rotten comments from the male co-workers....seriously? I would like to think that a woman in a "man's world" would be smart enough to know that you can't beat 'em, you gotta join 'em. Earn some damn respect, stop being such a wimp, curse like a sailor. In other words...kwitcher bitchin'....
I know...I know... I'm cranky and cantankerous. In the first 119 pages, this story was all over the place. Sloane is unhappy in her relationship and is looking for a new place, but without her boyfriend knowing... kind of. She's interviewing victims... sort of. Investigating the rapes, well, a little. Trying to address her issues of an aging father, ...eh...here and there...In short, she's just sort of meandering along, unfocused and maybe a little depressed.
I guess I'm done with this one. Time's a'wastin' and there are just too many books on the Towering Teetering To Be Read Stack to spend anymore time on this one.