Making the Grade

Making the Grade

by Peter G Pollak

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985036607
Publisher: Expendable Man Publishing
Publication date: 04/20/2012
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)

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Making the Grade 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
StevenPollak More than 1 year ago
I have been fortunate to read all of Peter Pollak’s excellent mystery novels from, “The Expendable Man,” (his first book), “In the Game,” “Making the Grade,” and, “Last Stop on Desolation Ridge.” I have to; he’s my brother! And, he is older and bigger than I! Lol Regardless, each book has left me with a sense of pride. Yes of course because Peter is my brother, but more so because the books are quite honestly, good reads. Each book has a unique theme but they all have one common aspect which really appeals to me, Peter “gets the hook” in early. These are not those typical mystery novels that plod along trying one’s patience. The plots’ move quickly and the twists and turns keep one guessing until... Though I enjoyed each book, my favorite is “Last Stop on Desolation Row.” The story takes place in Gloversville, NY; a little town north of Albany, NY, where, the Pollaks were raised! But beyond being able to relate to that, this one suspenseful ride which Peter expertly ties together up and through its surprising conclusion. Pick up any of one of Peter Pollak’s books. You will be glad that you did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cowboysfan41 More than 1 year ago
While I have not read Peter's first book, this book was great!!! I would love to see a follow up book to this one. The Shannon Lynch character was awesome!!! I had a hard time putting the book down. So please go check this book out. A definite must read.
Lovz-Books More than 1 year ago
It is the first day on the job for rookie detective Shannon Lynch, and her first case is…the murder of a rape victim. Of course, Shannon is not being taken seriously by the other guys, although she didn’t exactly get treated badly by them either. She didn’t get hassled with male, chauvinistic attitude. I think that would’ve made it more authentic. Still, with everyone treating her like a 12-year old girl, I looked forward to her proving to these guys that she could do it. You root for Shannon even though she was “wet behind the ears.” Girl power, baby! Shannon was an observant and studious character that still had a LOT to learn. For the case, she focused a lot on the left-handed theory and notes that on every potential suspect (there were a ton of interviews.) I did feel that Shannon could’ve been stronger as a central character. Perhaps there were a few too many minor characters with all the interrogations. This book was a quick and easy read. Written passively, the story digressed from a slow beginning into a thick and heart-racing plot that suspends the reader as the killer is finally drawn out about half way through the book. Once you get through all the paper work in the beginning, you’ll want to stick around to see what happens next. Pollak has a knack for story-telling, and, it is no doubt that he has the potential to be an even greater writer.
Raymond_Mathiesen More than 1 year ago
Tough Police And Serious Criminals Ever wondered what it is like to be a rooky police detective? What if you were the first woman detective on staff? What if your first case was a no breaks murder by a bona fide psychopath? Shannon Lynch is on her first day of duty as a detective and she immediately feels that her new workmates don’t really trust her and wont until she proves herself. She knows this is a serious job and she is determined to meet the standards. Her new boss, Lieutenant Keller, says he at first will not appoint Shannon to a partner, but attach her to two other detectives, Al Joiner and Chuck Miles, to basically just observe. Shannon is not impressed and Joiner and Miles’ reception of her leaves her even more peeved. Peter Pollak has written a novel that grips the reader right from the start guiding them through the working of a case that takes the police to standard and not so standard territory. This is a ‘hard boiled’ police yarn ideal for any reader wanting to be entertained. While Pollak’s approach to police work is standard, giving us some idea of the routine of a police job, the events are hardly standard and are narrated in an exciting style. Pollak surprises us, shocks us and keeps us on tenterhooks. Most of the book is written from Shannon’s point of view, however, at key points we also see into the lives and thoughts of other characters. This gives variety and depth. From the start we gain a liking for Shannon and in time we come to understand Joiner and Miles. These characters ring true and are well crafted. While the style is ‘hard boiled’ we still feel that Shannon and her partners, and even the perpetrator are real. They are not in any way larger than life. Shannon slowly evolves over time developing into a more complex view of her work and life. Joiner and Miles also change, though to a lesser extent. Making The Grade is chiefly about success. What is success? How do we get there? What should be our mental attitude to both success and failure? So much of modern society revolves around this issue and the topic arises early, when we are young. We may consider ourselves beyond that but we all have to take tests, keep our jobs, be accountable to our friends and family. Indeed a second issue is friends in trouble. Some people are pure users and others are not. How do we decide who to help and who not? Pollak does not give us any pat answers, but instead chooses to raise questions in our mind. Life is never easy to navigate. Closely connected to friendship is the issue of loyalty. Once again it is recognised that life is complex and there are no easy answers. As I have indicated the book has a lot to do with a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. Feminists will not be offended by the novel, but Pollak is not issuing standard polemics. Pollak recognises that there certainly IS a male power system, but once again life is seen to be complex. This is definitely not a cut out detective story with cut out opinion. Shannon is a feisty capable woman, but she does shed a few tears (though she certainly struggles for control with fortitude). She never was and never will be a stay at home with the kiddies ‘little woman’. Pollak has got the psychology of his novel right. Most of all this is not your standard out there over the top psycho. The killer could easily pass for any man in the street, except of course when he is in the act of actually killing someone. Martha Stout is a psychologist who is successful both as an academic and in a flourishing clinical practice and her book The Psychopath Next Door makes it clear that these people are very good at appearing normal and even helpful. Indeed a psychopath could be living next door to you and you wouldn’t even know it. Pollak’s killer certainly fits this picture. The details I have mentioned and others make it clear that the author has certainly done his research on this one. The law is of course an institution of society and Pollak invites some contemplation of the matter. What is the purpose of the law? The philosopher Michel Foucault has challenged the law, saying it is another power system used to manipulate the masses in such a way that ruling elites are reinforced. Would we, however, survive without it? Once we step out of our comfortable lounge room into the hustle of everyday living we may learn that life can be unpleasant, dangerous. Even the ‘safety’ of our homes is not an assured fact. Close to the discussion of the law and society is that of bureaucracy. Organizations certainly can put ridiculous restraints on people, but then again some order is needed to make systems work. At 255 pages this book is excellent for a weekend read on the patio. It is interesting and entertaining, with some excitement and characters that are believable. Making The Grade can be read purely as light entertainment, but also has some depth if you care to look for it. Don’t get me wrong: it is not a boring philosophic tome. All in all the book is a great read, especially for those interested in police yarns.