- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Working with her young partner, Seagate has to confront a host of her own issues, starting with a broken-down family and her own drinking. With the chief breathing down her neck, trying to push her in directions that bring him favorable publicity rather than moving the case forward only makes things worse. As Seagate moves forward with the case, her own life goes more deeply into crisis mode.
Posted October 19, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback.
Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Karen Seagate and Ryan Miner, detectives in Rawlings, Montana, are assigned a security detail to protect the adversaries in a stem-cell debate at Central Montana State College from being assaulted or killed during the debate. Early the next morning Karen receives a call to go to the hotel where one of the debaters has been killed. As she and her partner search for the killer, they learn many unsavory things about the victim and those around him.
The story started slow but once the murder investigation begins it picked up. I tried to figure out who was guilty but I never figured it out. I liked the twists in the investigation. I also liked that Ryan has learned a few things from Karen that I did not expect to see coming from him. I enjoyed the banter between Karen and some of her colleagues (Dr. Breen, Robin, and Ryan.) It is a dry humor but fun to figure out what they are saying. I did not like the chief nor his receptionist. What a jerk of an ex-husband!
The soul searching Karen had to do after the accident was interesting and seemed to be long overdue for her. This is a good set-up for the series where I learned who the characters were, what their personalities are, and who are the good guys and the bad guys. I am looking forward to more in the series.
Posted November 24, 2010
Reviewed by: Beth Adams, Pacific Book Review
Mike Markel emerges on the scene with his detective murder mystery, "Big Sick Heart: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery," instantly assimilating new fans into the realm of his story telling acumen. In this popular genre of fiction, Mike Markel captivated my attention by his masterful dialog and interaction between the two main characters, detective Karen Seagate and her younger male police partner, detective Ryan Miner.
Seagate and Miner were assigned to cover a stem cell research debate in their small town of Rawlings, Montana and to keep an eye on the speakers for safety due to the controversial subject. They thought the evening would be uneventful, which for the most part it was. However, later that night, after the event, the headliner of the debate, Arlen Hagerty, wound up dead in his hotel room with multiple stab wounds. Hence begins the routine questioning of all of the key players; his wife, his assistant, his colleagues and acquaintances whereas it's discovered that Hagerty suffered from a medical condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM for short, or a "Big Sick Heart" by definition. Why someone would brutally kill a man that would likely be dead anyway in a matter of weeks became a nuance of the investigation.
Mike Markel takes this plot foundation and in a fascinating way brings the reader into the mind of detective Seagate. He lets out the knowledge of Seagate's past like a fishing line hooking the reader into wanting to know more. Seagate sees the world with a wry sense of realism etched by her own failures in her marriage and mothering; being a divorced mom and an alcoholic with a closet full of personal problems. However this only enhances her ability as a police investigator, making her immune to the false stories of the suspects. Peeling the truth out of not only everything she is told, but also from what is not said during an interview, the reader becomes very comfortable with her character. Ryan Miner is the perfect sidekick as a working partner, amplifying Seagate's character and polishing the facets of this diamond of a book.
To me, this finesse of perception in human behavior, the ability to perceive beyond ordinary charlatans' alibis made Mike Markel shine as an author and "Big Sick Heart" becomes an extraordinary read. I highly recommend this book to all for not only its entertainment value, but for the wisdom one can gain by seeing the world through the eyes of detectives Seagate and Miner, or better stated, through the writing of Mike Markel. This excellent book touches on many critical aspects of research towards stem cell therapy and the political controversies involved.