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Monday, August 16, 2010

The McNaughton Rule - A review

Perhaps at work people have told you that you tell a good story. You could write a novel about it they say. Well someone must have told that to Tim McClure too. He has taken all those pub stories about life on the force and written a book. ‘You could be the next Joesph Wambaugh,’ someone probably said. And, ‘gosh your wife is an editor for a newspaper she can help edit your book, help save on the cost.’

Well, Tim McClure and Mary Dieter did just that. He strung together a series of war stories, using the political scene in Indiana as a background. McNaughton, the protagonist is believable, as is his wife Renee, the newspaper reporter (gee how cute they are modeled after their real-life jobs). The main crime is grisly and effective. Unfortunately it never quite gels. Once Dieter starts the editing we lose something; it takes something out instead of adding to the story becoming almost juvenile at times.

When we get to the court room scenes, McClure, now an attorney having retired from life as a police office in Indianapolis is efficient, informative and knowledgeable. Just as I was about to totally write this off as a novel—it becomes whiny and preachy at times; a gripe about life in staid, old Indiana, we’ve reached about page three hundred—suddenly McClure starts to make stuff up; real fiction not just old stories from his past. Now we have a novel, now we have hope and as McNaughton and his crew of homicide detectives search frantically for one of their own, an officer missing for several days, this becomes a page turner. Like most true-life based, crime dramas, happy endings are never anticipated and this one is no different, though there is a twist in the end that makes this one worth hanging in for the final chapter.

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