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The Tarnished Eye    by Judith Guest Amazon.com order for
Tarnished Eye
by Judith Guest
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The slaughter of an entire family mother, father, and four children has Sheriff Hugh DeWitt of Blessed, Northern Michigan stretching his investigative talents. At the same time, his counterpart in Ann Arbor is trying to apprehend a serial murderer who is raping and killing college girls.

The Tarnished Eye by Judith Guest (author of award-winning Ordinary People) offers fans a novel of breath-holding suspense. The author lays before readers a plethora of suspects a disgruntled lover, two bumbling handy-man brothers, an embezzler, a college student. The list goes on. Guest weaves an intriguing mystery with action that moves at a good pace. A peek into the Sheriff's mind is a peek into the workings of the police bureaucracy, with the bonus of understanding what a police official contends with as a husband and father.

Guest delves into the behind-closed-doors emotions of a family's life. I wanted to have a hard talk with the father of this dysfunctional circle of people, held together only by dint of their relationships with each other. The description of the multiple-murder scene is almost too realistic to be borne, but Guest stops at the right spot to get her point across without causing nausea. Suspense carries through from the first page in this satisfying mystery. Can you pick out the murderer before the last pages? I wasn't sure.

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