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5.0 1
by Kathleen George

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In the humid dog days of a Pittsburgh summer weekend, Richard Christie, Head of Homicide, faces not one, but two mysterious murders. The victims—-a polite woman and an angelic child—-do not seem to be connected in any obvious way. Christie is short-handed, the clues don’t stack up, and he’s got a rookie detective, Colleen Greer, to look out


In the humid dog days of a Pittsburgh summer weekend, Richard Christie, Head of Homicide, faces not one, but two mysterious murders. The victims—-a polite woman and an angelic child—-do not seem to be connected in any obvious way. Christie is short-handed, the clues don’t stack up, and he’s got a rookie detective, Colleen Greer, to look out for. These are his problems.

Colleen has problems, too. Her boyfriend is trying to break up with her, she’s got a serious crush on her mentor, Christie, and it turns out she knew both victims slightly. Early in the investigation, she gets an alarming idea about the perpetrator’s identity, but the man she suspects has no obvious connection to the victims. She has to move carefully with nothing but a gut feeling to go on—-all the while disturbed by a series of memories of her own childhood.

Kathleen George’s novels have been praised for their subtle rendering of character and relationships—-whether those relationships are among detectives or in the families of criminals. Boldly and elegantly written, Afterimage is a startling thriller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

George's solid third Pittsburgh thriller (after 2004's Fallen) introduces rookie detective Colleen Greer to the homicide squad. Cmdr. Richard Christie is unsure of inexperienced, overeager Greer, but they hit the ground running after a woman is brutally murdered. Greer recognizes the victim as Laura McCall, the wife of David Hoffman, who ran a counseling center where Greer had been employed. McCall was separated from Hoffman and dating another man, making Hoffman the detectives' prime suspect. When Hoffman reaches out to Greer, her cop instincts take precedence over their past friendship, but she still isn't sure of his guilt. When a second body turns up, again with ties to Hoffman's clinic, Greer tries to tap into her intuition and unexpectedly finds herself attracted to her very married boss. George leaves enough balls in the air that fans will eagerly await Christie and Greer's next case. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

In investigating two brutal murders, detective Colleen Greer, the rookie member of the Pittsburgh Homicide Squad, is shocked to discover that she slightly knew the female victims (a quiet divorcée and an angelic child) from working at a family-counseling service. With little evidence, few suspects, and no apparent motivation for the killings, Greer must prove to her boss that her instincts are sound and her ability to handle the investisgation is rock solid. In her third crime novel (after Fallen; Taken), George showcases her ability to craft a good mystery with an in-depth understanding of police work and attention to detail. George lives in Pittsburgh.

—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
The Pittsburgh Homicide squad catches two new cases, both with ties to the squad's rookie, Colleen Greer. Laura McCall has been stabbed to death. Her body was found by her boyfriend, but detectives are more interested in David Hoffman, her estranged husband. Colleen used to work as a counselor at the family counseling center where David was in charge. Now he's clinging to his past relationship with her for reassurance as he fights his inner demons. Colleen, for her part, feels he's innocent yet hiding something that could help with the case. Laura is soon joined in the morgue by strangling victim Jamilla Washington, 13 and pregnant. Her parents, former clients of the counseling center, are chronic alcoholics who left Jamilla to run the household and care for her younger brother and sister. Questioning her family and friends reveals that Jamilla spent a lot of time running errands, shopping and apparently signing in at the center, where everyone denies ever having seen her. Colleen is partnering the squad leader, charismatic Richard Christie. Her crush on him is intensified by the fact that her boyfriend is dumping her. Hours of investigation into every aspect of the two murders turn up many leads, but it's Colleen's shocking hunch that pays off in the end. Even though George (Fallen, 2004, etc.) reveals whodunit fairly early on, the skillfully rendered characters draw you into their lives. An excellent procedural.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Pittsburgh Police Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.19(d)

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Meet the Author

Kathleen George is a theater professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also earned a Ph.D. in theater and a subsequent M.F.A. in fiction. She is the author of two previous mysteries featuring Richard Christie. She and her husband live in Pittsburgh on the city’s historic North Side.

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Afterimage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Pittsburgh homicide squad Commander Richard Christie has some doubts with the new guy make that gal assigned to his unit. He likes rookie detective Colleen Greer¿s enthusiasm, but also fears her excess zeal could prove dangerous to her and the team. Still he has no choice but to toss her into the ocean while a hurricane hits.----------- Richard has two homicides to investigate. The first victim is Laura McCall, who Greer knows from working for her separated husband David Hoffman at a counseling clinic. The second is a child who Greer knows once again from her time at the clinic. Like her married boss, who she is attracted to Greer wonders if Hoffman killed his wife and the child, but has some doubts as a niggling suspicion in her gut points to someone else she knew in her clinic days.------- The third Christie Pittsburgh police procedural (see TAKEN and FALLEN) is a strong tale due to the simmering relationship between the commander and the rookie. Although this is Greer¿s first tale, her key appearance adds tension to the veteran homicide detective and will remind series fans more so of TAKEN in which Richard¿s wife Marina Benedict requested a separation. The mystery is well done especially as David asks his former employee for favors, which make him appear even guiltier to her, but it is the newbie who steals the show on a personal front with her hero worship attraction and her on the job investigative training.----------- Harriet Klausner