Nov 16, 2022

One of Our Own (Gregor Demarkian #30)

One of Our Own (Gregor Demarkian #30)

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Review #1

Four years ago I wrote to Jane Haddam to see when the next Gregor book was coming out. She told me that she wasn’t sure. I left it at that despite my obsessive need for the next book after the way she blew things up in Fighting Chance. Could it be possible?? Could another book not be coming?? I thanked her for the many many years of enjoyment I got from reading and rereading these books. I’ll be honest and say I freaked out though. Unlike every other book in this series, there was SO MUCH to resolve. I couldn’t believe that book was the last one. Over the years I had come to love the characters and think of Cavanaugh Street fondly – if only it was a real place. I’d live there in a heartbeat. And then Fighting Chance. Did it ruin the series for me because it ended so badly for these people I’d come to live so much? Randomly, or so I thought, I checked a couple of weeks ago and was beyond pleased that the new and last Gregor book was coming out!!! At first I didn’t even realize that the author had passed away. I was very saddened. Jane Haddam (Orania Papazoglou) was a master at her art – character driven stories that moved you, changed you, shifted your world view. And this final book did not disappoint. She wrote this pre-pandemic and before all of the violence and protests of the last year that vacillate between helping to bring us together and tearing us even further apart. As a final gift to readers, she showed us that despite hate and xenophobia and violence and fear and uncertainty, Cavanaugh Street remains a beacon of love and hope and unity and family and better tomorrows that it’s always been for me and hopefully for all readers. There could not be a better time for this message. For the last time, sadly, thank you Jane Haddam. You made the world a better place for being in it. And your legacy lives on. Now I will go reread Not A Creature Was Stirring.

Review #2

As other reviewers have noted, “Jane Haddam” wrote this end to the Gregor Demarkian books while she was dying of cancer. I do not normally make allowances for the circumstances of writing: the finished book is what it is. Fortunately, in this case, I don’t need to. This is as good a book as she ever wrote in a long and productive life–a good fair-play mystery, excellent prose, interesting character and settings and a theme worth reading and thinking about. “The Gregors” have a stock company, of course, and they’re all here for their last bows, but the series can be read in whatever order you can find and purchase them. It would be helpful in this case to have read the next to last–Fighting Chance–before reading this one, to make a plot point a little clearer here and avoid a spoiler there. But One of Our Own stands on its own. Jane and her books always did.

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