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The Deadly Tools of Ignorance    by Robert Elias Amazon.com order for
Deadly Tools of Ignorance
by Robert Elias
Order:  USA  Can
Rounder Books, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Though Robert Elias has published six impressively titled non-fiction books prior to this one, The Deadly Tools of Ignorance is his fiction debut. However, he hasn't made the transition from non-fiction to fiction too successfully.

I do like his protagonist Debs Kafka like his name even more. The other characters are wispy around the edges not as strong as they could be. The plot is a good one, but suffers from constant sidebars that distract the reader from the main thrust of the story. The major occurrence is the murder of a Laurentian priest in San Francisco. After a suspect is arrested, the search for the real killer continues throughout the book without any real suspense. Several of what should have been exciting scenes don't quite make it. I must say, though, that the climax is very exciting, with a crucial baseball game tied into the uncloaking of the murderer.

Religion, feminism, the death penalty, crime and punishment and baseball each discussed at great length - hang together incongruously. The sexual scenes don't make the grade. But for all my criticisms, I feel the author has a future in fiction and hope he has started another Debs Kafka novel.

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