Friday, May 15, 2009

Living Witness

Friday, May 15, 2009

Haddam's Living Witness makes a central point.

Arguments over evolution and intelligent design are not about science. They're not about religion either. They are about power. They are about making your group dominant. They cause you to lose sight of what really matters.

Living Witness involves a mugging and two murders in the small town of Snow Hill. Should the school put a sticker in its science texts? The sticker would acknowledge intelligent design and tell students where to learn about it. Is a law suit on the issue enough to cause a murder?

Living Witness is not one of the best Gregor Demarkian books.

It is set in Snow Hill, not in
Demarkian's Philadelphia neighborhood with its quirky characters. No Tibor. No Bennis with her eccentric friends. Demarkian does marry Bennis at the close of the book, something avid readers have been waiting a long time to see happen.

The book is loosely written, but it is typical. It has long sections devoted to the characters. Gregor doesn't come on the scene until you are well into the book. He arrives at the solution to the murder because he looks at real clues. He avoids being taken in by all the
falderol around him.

There is a lot about this book that makes it not as carefully plotted or tightly written as some of the others, but that would not keep me from reading another Gregor
Demarkian book. I have always liked Gregor Demarkian and the characters around him. Next time, I hope the murder happens where he lives.

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