Skip to content
Hardcover Detective Book

ISBN: 0517700255

ISBN13: 9780517700259


Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

Save $1.20!
List Price $5.99
Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie of the Miami police homicide department is about to take a well-earned family holiday when he is called away on an urgent mission.A criminal on Death Row with only a few hours... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Absolute Gem

I read this book a second time and it was just as engrossing. You know the plot very early but still cannot wait to see how it unfolds and ends.

Great read

I was really drawn into this book. I like the dynamics of the characters. I really liked how the main character went on a spritiual as well as a personal journey to discover his convictions. However, I really felt bad for the Commander having to endure her Fathers foul behavior and not even her Mother stand up for her. I agree with reviewer who stated that this book is not an attack on christianity or catholicism. This character simply lost his faith and had a find it again.


I am NOT a police dispatcher as one of my fellow reviewers,but I found Hailey's "Detective" a rather engrossing and compelling novel. Known for his grand style of writing, employing several different storylines at once, he brings this to the police procedural genre and overall, I think, brings it off well. The characterizations are well developed, and Malcolm Ainslie is a flawed hero; his bitterness over the Catholic faith, however, is never fully rationalized, and I was sad when at a point where his life was about to end, he still refused to admit God's existence. However, this is what makes Ainslie so complex. He also seems to have a hard time stifling his urge to "roam" in his marriage, and it is his affair with one Cynthia Ernst that propels him into a dark, and complicated vortex. A strong debate about capital punishment also enters the picture as Ainslie is called to a death row inmate's execution for a final confession from a despicable nasty character called "Animal" Elroy Doil. There's some other subplots including the mysterious murder of a wealthy woman's husband; a lot of background into Cynthia's youth; and many other goings on that contribute to the breadth of the novel. This was Hailey's first attempt at this type of novel, and although as a mystery/thriller, it sets no new territories, it does come off as well-developed and interesting character study about the life of a detective; the wealthy; and the religious.RECOMMENDED.

A complete novel, a different Hailey

Hailey is usual in describing worlds (the automotive in "Wheels", the news' in "Evening news", the planes'in "Airport" , to name a few). Then when you see the title "Detective" you expect a multi person drama, diverse stories to link to one common gist, a big and tiresome book. Not. Not any of these that characterised Hailey who was writting books to become good films or TV series. "Detective" is the book to show us his real potentials. He surely describes a world, but in a more compact way. He presents all the details of a detectives' work and world, but through the process of his story and all these details forward his story. He doesn't present decades of characters, but only a few, in who he delves deep and presents them to us in full aspect, clearly and precisely. Ainsley has the contradiction inside, being previously a priest who lost his faith, but now as a police detective he comes to ask himself again about that faith, as he faces peoples' sins and his strength inside, trying to balance priestly emotions with the cruelty and reality of the field, while he faces the evil and redemption where he never thought of. One of the best anti-hero characters ever described. Then, Hailey's speech is clear, picturous and well laid, with only the flashbacks to ornament it. But these flashbacks tire the reader, since they are a lot, or one flashback is layered over the other, or into the other. This is the only downside of the book, while on the other hand it makes the book a more brain excercise, enhances the psychology factor of his detective story that makes it a detective thriller story. As said the characters are curved deeply, main and side characters and this, in some places, makes the book even warm. Hailey's pictures flow quickly and the plot of the story, while common, is read and followed with a lot of interest. And here Hailey proves to know very well how to use the arc stories: he starts and finishes his circle, with all the threads (or stories! ) he has thrown in the meanwhile and slaps us in the face just before he closes his story, showing exactly that he writes on an arc pattern and bringing up a detail we would never think of possible. Afterwards, presenting us the real guilty, his motive and his actions makes us the readers wonder, how such a carefull person can be uncovered: from a slight detail (not that we wouldn't expect of, but that slight detail comes almost at the end, something that enhances the readers' anxiety). On the other hand, the book is not summoned on a haste, Hailey cares not. The good impression he gave us, is kept till the end. And then, his end, gives us a hint of sin, for the priest who lost his faith and become a detective, cause he's a man after all. A complete novel then from Hailey.

DETECTIVE....a different Hailey novel...but a great read!!!!

Finally...another Arthur Hailey novel! It has been many years since his last novel first hit the bookshelves, but in truth, I feel it was worth the wait. Many Hailey lovers may be disappointed with this novel. It does not have the surprising and ofttimes scary informative style of say "Strong Medicine", "The Final Diagnosis",or almost any other Arthur Hailey novel, but it is as informative of the life of a police detective as I have read to date. It is not a deeply suspenseful "whodunnit" as is the majority of the novels about other detectives, but I do not believe that was never intended. This is a novel that takes the life of a detective and exploits it in a very entertaining way. The procedures and fact-finding techniques aren't as surprising as other information found in other Hailey novels, but this is due, in part, to the prolifera of crime novels written by other equally capable hands. That, and true to life court trials (O.J.'s comes to mind) in today's society, have brought all of the techniques and procedures out to a point that even 10 year olds know about fingerprinting and DNA testing. So, although MR. Hailey has included some of this information in the novel, the story is about Malcom Ainslie, a Detective-Sergeant with the Miami P.D.Mr. Hailey has given Ainslie the personality of a real human being with the failings, feelings and ideals that any of us might have. Making the lead character an ex-priest who doesn't really believe in the followings of any religion anymore, gives us, the reader, an insight into many things that we have never thought of before, and probably never would have with the reverence normally beholden to any religion. Mr. Hailey has come forth with insights and questions about religions that will have even the most devout follower questioning his beliefs. But this is just a minor subplot, and not a topic that runs rampant through the novel, so atheists and agnostics need not worry!And talking about subplots, Mr. Hailey ! is still the King in this respect. Every event that happens in this novel, although seemingly disjointed at times, deftly becomes entertwined with the others as the novel progresses. Mr. Hailey has created characters that we can identify easily. We know Cynthia Ernst is a cold and calculating person. We know that Ruby is a very patient, totally professional investigator. We know that Karen is a loving wife and mother. And more! But mostly, we get to know the person known as Malcom Ainslie. He is a person we could like, a person that we can understand. He made his mistakes in his life, admits to himself they were mistakes and moves on. He is a exemplary investigator, oftentimes surprising himself with his insight. One of the best characters Mr. Hailey has ever come up with, in my opinion.Lastly, the story is one that seems familiar. The overall plot has been used before. The whodunnit part of the novel has been replaced with a "Columbo-esque" style of letting us know who did the deed and having
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured