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Dead Game: A John Marquez Crime Novel

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Overview

Third in the series of crime novels featuring what Booklist called "far and away the most inventive new detective hero," California Fish and Game warden John Marquez's latest investigation begins with Marquez on the phone to a confidential informant as she's mysteriously abducted. Marquez and his understaffed team—which is slated for shutdown by top brass—search frantically for the informant in their remaining weeks, while also pursuing sturgeon poachers (who may have something to do with the kidnapping) and ...
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Dead Game: A John Marquez Crime Novel

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Overview

Third in the series of crime novels featuring what Booklist called "far and away the most inventive new detective hero," California Fish and Game warden John Marquez's latest investigation begins with Marquez on the phone to a confidential informant as she's mysteriously abducted. Marquez and his understaffed team—which is slated for shutdown by top brass—search frantically for the informant in their remaining weeks, while also pursuing sturgeon poachers (who may have something to do with the kidnapping) and tangling with both the Russian mob and the FBI along the way. And you thought your job was tough.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The latest challenge for California Fish & Game Warden John Marquez is a group of poachers who kill sturgeon for caviar and aren't too solicitous about higher species either.

Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit is on the ropes. Tax-averse California citizens have cut their budget repeatedly, slashing the number of agents from ten to five to three, even though the bad guys are just as active and inventive as ever. Marquez (Night Game, 2004, etc.) and his wardens hope to turn sturgeon poacher Abe Raburn against former KGB agent Nikolai Ludovna, who came to the U.S. to move real estate and black-market caviar. But Raburn is so terrified of Ludovna that he's not much help. Russian-born field guide Anna Burdovsky has agreed to do some snooping on Marquez's behalf. When she disappears from a rendezvous with Don August, whose specialty-food stores may be selling illegal caviar, signs point to foul play. Marquez's boss is getting put out to pasture, and his home life doesn't look so great either: He and his wife Katherine are too obsessed with their jobs to make much of a home for Katherine's daughter Maria, who's visiting East Coast colleges without the slightest intention of attending any of them. Although the tale and its people may all seem familiar, Russell brings some formidable skills to bear: an exquisite eye for a hundred shades of gray among the poachers, traffickers, buyers and informants along the food chain, and a passion for every corner of the wilderness they're bent on exploiting into oblivion. And not just them, but the populace at large. As Marquez reflects: "The debate wasn't so much about how to live in balance with nature, but whether it was worth the effort."

Russell tackles both action sequences and intractable moral problems with prose as sharp and efficient as a filleting knife. Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher
The latest challenge for California Fish & Game Warden John Marquez is a group of poachers who kill sturgeon for caviar and aren't too solicitous about higher species either.

Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit is on the ropes. Tax-averse California citizens have cut their budget repeatedly, slashing the number of agents from ten to five to three, even though the bad guys are just as active and inventive as ever. Marquez (Night Game, 2004, etc.) and his wardens hope to turn sturgeon poacher Abe Raburn against former KGB agent Nikolai Ludovna, who came to the U.S. to move real estate and black-market caviar. But Raburn is so terrified of Ludovna that he's not much help. Russian-born field guide Anna Burdovsky has agreed to do some snooping on Marquez's behalf. When she disappears from a rendezvous with Don August, whose specialty-food stores may be selling illegal caviar, signs point to foul play. Marquez's boss is getting put out to pasture, and his home life doesn't look so great either: He and his wife Katherine are too obsessed with their jobs to make much of a home for Katherine's daughter Maria, who's visiting East Coast colleges without the slightest intention of attending any of them. Although the tale and its people may all seem familiar, Russell brings some formidable skills to bear: an exquisite eye for a hundred shades of gray among the poachers, traffickers, buyers and informants along the food chain, and a passion for every corner of the wilderness they're bent on exploiting into oblivion. And not just them, but the populace at large. As Marquez reflects: "The debate wasn't so much about how to live in balance with nature, but whether it was worth the effort."

Russell tackles both action sequences and intractable moral problems with prose as sharp and efficient as a filleting knife. Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811850780
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Series: John Marquez Series , #3
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirk Russell lives in Berkeley, California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fine fish and wildlife police procedural

    California Fish & Game Special Operations Unit Warden John Marquez is concerned with the poaching of sturgeon in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River delta. Someone was killing the sturgeon to ¿extract¿ the eggs to make caviar and is unconcerned about collateral damage to other fish. However, Marquez does not have the manpower to stop the poachers as his unit has shrunk down to three while the criminals have gotten smarter, bigger, and more energetic, and the FBI steps in and out looking for sound byte poser cases only. --- Still he tries using informants to help him catch the crooks such as former sturgeon poacher Abe Raburn who Marquez pressures into testifying against former KGB agent Nikolai Ludovna, who came to the states allegedly as a realtor, but is the caviar poaching kingpin. Abe proves uninformative perhaps out of fear of retaliation. Russian-born field guide Anna Burdovsky agrees to help, but she vanishes without a trace following a meeting with specialty food storeowner Don August, who Marquez believes sells illegal caviar. With potential problems at home, Marquez concentrates on expediting Anna from danger though he fears he is too late. --- The key to this fine fish and wildlife police procedural is the different personalities that make up the sturgeon poaching crowd as readers will understand the economic motivations of poachers, sellers, storeowners, users, law enforcement officials, and informants. The story line is somewhat typical of the undermanned and under-equipped cops struggling to defeat superior forces while knowing a victory today just means a new criminal takes over the territory. DEAD GAME is a fabulous tale that entertains the audience while also educating readers with how complex the environmental-economic issues are. --- Harriet Klausner

    15 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    an ok book

    The book drug in places and didnt have enough action.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Hmm...

    I liked Russell's second book in this series better but this book wasn't too bad. I really liked the idea of the book but felt some parts could have been developed more. There were a few times I had to stop for a second and fill in the gaps on my own...maybe that was Russell's intention?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Adequate

    It's an OK read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Seriously?

    I can't believe I actually finished this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    Great writing with a solid plot that kept me wanting more.

    Great writing with a solid plot that kept me wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Anonymous

    I started out liking the John Marquez series, but after reading through several books, it was the same ole same ole. I became bored with them. Different characters same plot. Maybe some day I'll come back to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Good Book - Moved along well

    Story moved along well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Interesting book, well worth the read.

    I live in Sacramento, so the book appealed to me partly because I recognized so much of the settings. It isn't a nail biting thriller, but learning more about fish and game wardens and sturgeon fish makes it very worth reading. I will be looking at more of the author's books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Hard going. In a sense this really isn't fiction. There's lots

    Hard going. In a sense this really isn't fiction. There's lots of "he did this" and "she said that," but really no character development, almost no interior monologue or thoughts, very little in the way of compelling or dramatic relationships. I will say the progress of the case seemed extremely realistic. I felt as though I could drive the roads and see the exact sites the author was describing I real life. In fact I suspected he really was just describing places he knew and people he had encountered. I struggled to finish this book.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Suspense

    Good suspense yarn!

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    good read

    Read while on vacation. Looking to read previous book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Dead Game is a slow read

    Very very slow going. Like others, I put this book on hold and read another book or two, hoping Dead Game would get better. I cant recommend this book unless you enjoy a very slow pace. I dont plan to read any other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Kevin

    Kevin!!!!^

    0 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 17, 2013

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    Posted May 26, 2012

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    Posted May 20, 2012

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    Posted April 30, 2012

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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    Posted May 24, 2012

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews

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