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Toll Call

af Stephen Greenleaf

Serier: John Marshall Tanner (book 6)

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621326,104 (3.56)Ingen
"Stephen Greeleaf's John Marshall Tanner series improves with age. Tanner [is]...altogether one of the most convincing of today's private eyes." THE SAN DIEGO UNION P.I. Marsh Tanner thought he knew his secretary Peggy well. But he didn't know half as much as the phone caller, the mystery man who called Peggy at home and threatened her with mutilation if she refused to tell him her most intimate secrets and desires. And he could never have imagined that Peggy might grow to love the calls as much as she hated them. But in the treacherous, twisted days that were to follow, there was much about Peggy--and himself--that Marsh Tanner would wish he didn't know....… (mere)

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OK, so by Greenleaf standards, this one is not quite up to par. It's far above the run-of-the-mill detective stories and still belongs in the class with Ross MacDonald whose writing his resembles.

Tanner’s long-time secretary, Peggy, is getting some rather salacious phone calls. Then one night she’s pushed down the stars and Tanner intervenes. Unlike the other books I have read in the Tanner series, this one gets personal and perhaps a bit heavy on the side of psychobabble. Lots of speculation as to why Peggy might have "encouraged" the moron with a concomitant excessive dose of guilt, etc. I don’t remember Maugham's Of Human Bondage that well, but my goodness, Peggy seems unable to break with this guy. It’s never satisfactorily explained. I kept wondering, “now, why would you do that?” or “hey guys, cop time, bring in the heavies.”

On the other hand, there is a plot twist at the end I just did not see coming.

I like Ruthie. She’s a stitch who has the most crass similes and metaphors imaginable. "That warning's about as useless as a condom on a canary." ( )
  ecw0647 | Feb 11, 2014 |
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"Stephen Greeleaf's John Marshall Tanner series improves with age. Tanner [is]...altogether one of the most convincing of today's private eyes." THE SAN DIEGO UNION P.I. Marsh Tanner thought he knew his secretary Peggy well. But he didn't know half as much as the phone caller, the mystery man who called Peggy at home and threatened her with mutilation if she refused to tell him her most intimate secrets and desires. And he could never have imagined that Peggy might grow to love the calls as much as she hated them. But in the treacherous, twisted days that were to follow, there was much about Peggy--and himself--that Marsh Tanner would wish he didn't know....

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