Long Time No See, by Susan Isaacs

>> Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Long Time No See (excerpt), by Susan Isaacs is the sequel to her Compromising Positions, an excellent book she wrote almost 20 years ago.

Judith Singer is back! After twenty years Susan Isaacs brings us back the heroine from Compromising Positions, her first and most beloved novel and returns to a great suspense story set in suburbia. Judith's life has changed. She now has her doctorate in history. Her workaday hours are spent at St. Elizabeth's College, mostly squandered in history department shriek-fests. She is also a widow. Her husband Bob died one half-day after triumphantly finishing the New York City Marathon in four hours and twelve minutes. And although twenty years have passed without seeing him, she still cannot get her former lover, Nelson Sharpe of the Nassau County Police Department, out of her system.

With Courtney Logan's dramatic disappearance, all eyes turn instantly toward her husband, Greg Logan, son of Long Island mobster Philip "Fancy Phil" Lowenstein. But since there is no body, there is no arrest. Then, in the less-than-merry month of May, Judith comes home from work, turns on the radio, and hears the Logans' pool man telling a reporter that he opened the pool and found . . . a raccoon? Not quite. "I see, you know, it's a body! Jeez. Believe it or not, I'm still shaking." The woman in the pool turns out to be Courtney, and now it's officially homicide. And Judith comes alive! She offers her services to the police's chief suspect, Greg Logan, but he shows her the door, thinking her just another neighborhood nut. But his father isn't so sure: Fancy Phil may have other plans for her.
A pleasure to read. A B+.

Isaacs is one of the few authors whose writing style is so wonderful, I'd read them in any genre. I kept going back and rereading witty paragraphs, smiling to myself, needing someone to read them to and share the amazing way with words this author has.

Her characterizations are always especially beautiful. With a couple of phrases she'll completely capture a character's personality, in a way you actually see him or her in your mind. I cheered every time it looked like Judith was going to interview a new person.

I especially appreciated the fact that Isaacs doesn't just skewer and ridiculize characters, as some authors with such a witty, acid pen would be tempted to do. Oh, of course, she pokes fun like the best of them, but you can always detect some humanity in every minor character, however horrid that character might be. And not all of them are horrid, there's a good share of sympathetic secondary characters, genuinely likeable people.

The plot itself... not that good. I was intrigued, a bit, but it's not the kind of thing I really enjoy. Isaacs writing + a story I enjoy would be a definite A+, but still, any excuse is good to read Isaacs' writing.


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