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BOOK REVIEW: THE COMMISSION
BY MICHAEL NORMAN

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An info sheet from Norman's publisher remarks: "the Parole Board is supposed to be the dam between convicted criminals and society. The dam doesn't work if the criminals are already on the outside." Indeed.

When Levi Vogue, a respected member of the Mormon movers and shakers in Salt Lake City and the chief of the Parole Board for the Utah prison system is found dead with gaping shot gun wounds to his face and torso, suspicion immediately falls on would be parolees within the system who carried a grudge against Vogue AND had means to contact hit men on the outside.

Sam Kincaid works for the prison system as a special investigator and has been assigned to assist the Salt Lake City Police in their investigation. Lt Kate McConnell is his counterpart among the SLC cops. Kincaid and McConnell soon uncover a shady secret of Vogue's - he enjoyed his time spent on the wild side of Salt Lake City and had at least one special friend and companion among the women who work as strippers and lap dancers. Instead of focusing on aggrieved prisoners awaiting parole, the two cops begin to ask questions some people would prefer to leave unanswered.

The trail which begins in rundown motels and gaudy bars leads Kincaid and McConnell back to the centers of power in the Utah prison system.

THE COMMISSION is a very respectable debut novel and provides a different look from a more stereotypical view of events in Utah. Kincaid and McConnell are a welcome addition to law enforcement teams featured in suspense fiction.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK




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