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Dennis DrabelleAirth's books are old-fashioned in one way: Madden is seamlessly admirable. He may live with demons, but this has to do with having experienced the horrors of trench warfare and the deaths of his first wife and child, not with any inherent flaws. At times, his goodness verges on the two-shoes variety. Yet he solves cases by plain, hard work—interviewing witnesses, following up on even tenuous leads, drawing upon his knowledge of the community in which he lives—and not, as Holmes and Poirot often do, by tossing off thunderbolts of you'll-never-guess insight. In an era when our real-life heroes tend to have feet of thick, grubby clay, it can be bracing to spend time with a man who is naturally but not implausibly noble.
—The Washington Post