Past Imperfect (Sigrid Harald Series #7)

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Overview

Sixty-one days before Detective Mick Cluett is due to retire, someone shoots him out in Sheepshead Bay and his murder quickly triggers the death of a young computer clerk who ran the murder gun's serial number through the data banks four years earlier.

As the investigation unfolds. Lt. Sigrid Harald is forced to confront the secrets hidden in her own past. What did Cluett ...
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Past Imperfect (Sigrid Harald Series #7)

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Overview

Sixty-one days before Detective Mick Cluett is due to retire, someone shoots him out in Sheepshead Bay and his murder quickly triggers the death of a young computer clerk who ran the murder gun's serial number through the data banks four years earlier.

As the investigation unfolds. Lt. Sigrid Harald is forced to confront the secrets hidden in her own past. What did Cluett know about her father's line-of-duty death thirty years ago and how involved is her own boss?

One of the answers lies with a colorful homeless street beggar. Jerry the Canary had been "nesting" in the girders above the tracks when the young clerk was pushed in front of a subway train, but he's an elusive bird and as hard to catch as a New York City pigeon.

Racing through the city's icy streets, Sigrid teams with a black detective from Brooklyn to find him before the killer cooks his goose.

Past Imperfect, the 7th in this series, was written in 1990 and I continue to be amazed by all the societal changes in twenty short years. Times Square had not yet become Disneyfied. Sex shops and porn movies abounded there, and tourists were pestered with handbills promising illicit good times in nearby hotel rooms that could be rented by the hour. Every third person was a smoker and smoking was allowed in restaurants, offices, and some movie theaters. The Twin Towers still stood. Subway cars and stations were grungy, and black graffiti covered both the walls and the trains. And the homeless were everywhere (something sadly happening once again, if for different reasons.)

On a lighter note, it was trendy for women to "get their colors done," i.e., to learn if they were a Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn and to choose a wardrobe based on those designations. Those familiar with Sigrid Harald's indifference to clothes and mirrors can imagine her reaction when her Grandmother Lattimore gifts her with such a makeover.

(Graphics by Paper Moon Graphics)
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fatal shooting of off-duty detective Michael Cluett, recently transferred from Manhattan to Brooklyn and days short of his 40-year tenure, sets off the series of intertwining investigations pursued in Maron's engrossing procedural. After the shooting, lieutenant Sigrid Harald, Cluett's boss in Manhattan, learns that he and her own boss had worked with her father, also a policeman, and may have shared a dark secret about his death in the line of duty many years before. The subsequent killing of the computer operator checking on the Cluett murder weapon suggests police involvement and leads Harald to probe her father's death. Alternating with the narrative of her search is the voice of Jarvis Vaughn, a black police detective from Brooklyn whose first-person account gives an intimate view of the internal investigation. Providing continuity and atmosphere with details of the snowy cityscape, Maron ( Corpus Christmas ) writes a terse, technically expert police procedural, its hard-boiled plot undiluted by sentimentality. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385413640
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/1991
  • Series: Sigrid Harald Series, #7
  • Pages: 192

Meet the Author

Margaret Maron
Born and bred in North Carolina where the piedmont meets the sandhills, I grew up on a modest two-mule tobacco farm that has been in the family for over a hundred years. Tobacco is no longer grown on the farm, but the memories linger — the singing, the laughter, the gossip that went on at the bench as those rank green leaves came from the field, the bliss of an icy cold drink bottle pressed to a hot sweaty face, getting up at dawn to help “take out” a barn, the sweet smell of soft golden leaves as they’re being readied for auction. Working in tobacco is one of those life experiences I’m glad to have had. I’m even gladder that it’s something I’ll never have to do again.

After high school came two years of college until a summer job at the Pentagon led to marriage, a tour of duty in Italy, then several years in my husband’s native Brooklyn. I had always loved writing and for the first few years, wrote nothing but short stories and very bad poetry. (The legendary Ruth Cavin of St. Martin’s Press once characterized my verses as “doggerel. But inspired doggerel.”)

Eventually, I backed into writing novels about NYPD Lt. Sigrid Harald, mysteries set against the New York City art world. But love of my native state and a desire to write out of current experiences led to the creation of District Court Judge Deborah Knott, the opinionated daughter of a crusty old ex-bootlegger and youngest sibling of eleven older brothers. (I was one of only three, so no, I’m not writing about my own family.)

We’ve been back on a corner of the family land for many years now. My city-born husband discovered he prefers goldfinches, rabbits, and the occasional quiet deer to yellow cabs, concrete, and a city that never sleeps. A son, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters are icing on our cake.
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Table of Contents

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