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Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid likes to be where the action is: at the scene of a crime, at the arrest of a suspect, with the cops on the Major Crimes Team. But when street smart, plugged-in reporter Percy Crenshaw is brutally murdered in the midst of pursuing a major story, she knows the stakes are high…

Within days, cops have a suspect; then a confession. Yet Samantha suspects that something is very wrong, and her concerns keep coming back to the police. The cop who got the confession used tough tactics. The murdered reporter was romantically linked to a cop's wife. And all of the cops she's concerned about are close to her live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes.

Forced to prosecute a case in which the defendant may be an innocent man, Samantha must tread carefully to uncover the truth about Percy's murder -- without tearing her career, her home life, and the city apart. But just when she thinks her job can't get any more difficult, another more shocking crime comes to light...

"A crackling legal thriller . . . .Burke is a former prosecutor, so she knows what she's writing about, getting the details all in place. She's also a gifted storyteller, which makes Close Case suspenseful, thought-provoking and a lot of fun." -Chicago Sun-Times

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Investigating the brutal murder of a hotshot journalist, Samantha Kincaid finds herself caught in the middle of an increasingly personal — and potentially dangerous — struggle between Portland’s police and the DA’s office.

For Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid’s thirty-second birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide call-out. The crime scene: the elite Hillside neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. The victim: star investigative reporter Percy Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.

Tensions in the city have been running high. The previous week, a police officer show and killed an unarmed mother of two in what he claims was self-defense: in the aftermath, protestors have waged increasingly agitated antipolice demonstrations.


Crenshaw’s death, it seems, is not unrelated; within a matter of hours, police arrest two young men who appear to have embarked on a crime spree in the aftermath of the protests. The case looks straightforward, especially when one of the suspects confesses.


But then the man recants, claiming coercive police tactics, and Samantha finds herself digging for more evidence. Following Crenshaw’s steps, her search leads her through an elaborate maze of connections between the city’s drug trade and police officers in the bureau’s Northeast Precinct.

Samantha’s pursuit of the truth puts her in the middle of city political battles and on the outs with the cops, including her new live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes. Worse yet, the path left by Crenshaw could lead Samantha to the same fatal end.

With Close Case, Alafair Burke delivers her most suspenseful and powerful novel yet.


“Samantha Kincaid . . . battles the system to solve a puzzling homicide. Daughter of crime writer James Lee Burke and herself a former deputy D.A., the author keeps the plot hurtling along.”
-People Magazine (in a book Pick review)

“A crackling legal thriller . . . Burke is a former prosecutor, so she knows what she’s writing about, getting the details all in place. She’s also a gifted storyteller, which makes Close Case suspenseful, thought-provoking and a lot of fun.”
-Chicago Sun-Times

“Samantha Kincaid makes a welcome return in Close Case . . . A

s in Burke’s past books, seemingly simple legal cases become anything but cut-and-dried, and their consequences are always intriguing.”
-The Seattle Times

“This is clearly an insider’s view, authority riding on every sentence. The plot dazzles and tantalizes . . . Adultery, murder, community activists, and Sam’s dogged rock-the-boat tactics keep you glued to every line. Nothing is as it seems amid legal shenanigans and police camaraderie, and the shocks of the plot stun. The Burkes have become a dynasty.”
-The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)

“Alafair Burke upholds her family reputation for top-notch mystery writing . . . There is a lot more investigating and personal back story than courtroom drama in Close Case . . . Burke tells the story with great style.”
-Omaha World-Herald

“She’s tough, clever and cantankerous as hell . . . In short, Samantha Kincaid is a pain in the butt . . . Burke has good storytelling in her genes . . . More please.”
-The Guardian (London)

“Close Case follows Missing Justice, a novel that Burke wrote last year — and it has the same power and suspense.”
-Desert Morning News (Salt Lake City)

“Burke delivers a fast-moving story of race and drugs and politics and prosecutors and cops and reporters — and how the volatile mix plays out on urban streets.”
-Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

“This novel brims with intelligence and suspense.”
-Tucson Citizen

“Close Case is the third in the Samantha Kincaid series by Burke, and in it she comes into her own as a writer. The first two books were good, with great characters and a nice sense of place . . . But Close Case is different. There’s an ease of writing, a smoothing of the hard edges, the touches that take a writer to the next stage in development, and Alafair Burke has reached it.”
-Toronto Globe and Mail

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