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Posted October 13, 2013
Maureen Coughlin made her initial fictional appearance in ¿The D
Maureen Coughlin made her initial fictional appearance in “The Devil She Knows.” Now, at the age of 30, after being a waitress for nine years, living through a series of unrewarding relationships, and residing with her mother on Staten Island, she decides to become a cop. When the test for the NYPD is postponed, she applies and is accepted for the police academy in New Orleans. And that’s where this novel begins, with Maureen serving her probationary trial period under the tutelage of Preacher Boyd, a wizened, jaundiced but savvy veteran NOPD police officer.
The plot, such as it is, follows Maureen and Preacher from her graduation from the police academy through her probationary period. On her first day, she answers a domestic call where she is brutally punched by a man bursting through the door. While backup officers recover two pounds of weed, while she looks on from the street, a young boy seems to want to tell her something, but is warned off by someone across the street. This sets the stage for an ever-inquisitive Maureen to pursue what turns out to be a major investigation, including murders, best left to homicide detectives, a specialty to which she aspires.
As a protagonist, Maureen leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps it is too early in her career to wish for more and she will develop more fully in future installments. As a rookie, as her training officer reminds her often, much of what she attempts is none of her business. Sometimes it turns out OK, others, not so much. The novel starts out slowly, and does not grab the reader, at least this one, until virtually the final pages The author, who also moved from Staten Island to New Orleans, interweaves various post-Katrina observations throughout the book, reminding the reader of the devastation which still plagues the city.
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