Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Men Are Often Bad in "Fringe Benefits" by F. M. Meredith

Sometimes one can't help joining a series after the first couple of books have come out. Such is the case here with Meredith's "Rocky Bluff Police Department" series.

Fringe Benefits
By F. M. Meredith
Tigress Press, LLC
ISBN # 0-9771601-9-X
Large Trade Paperback
184 Pages

The third novel in the Rocky Bluff Police Department series opens with base behaviors depicting bad men. A young mother is raped in her apartment building's laundry room on a Wednesday morning. Cal Sylvester is a training officer for the rookie Gordon Butler and he hates it though he admits that Gordon's wife makes it somewhat worthwhile. He fully intends to get intimately acquainted with her despite his own marriage and hers. Elsewhere in the small town, an out of control teenager plots his escape.

Those are just a few of the storylines in the slice of life police procedural style novel by F. M. Marilyn known to most as Marilyn Meredith. As the days pass and the cases intermingle, so do the lives of numerous officers depicted in this novel. Some will do the right thing as they serve and protect their community and each other. Others will dishonor the badge they wear and the oaths they took and slide downhill morally bankrupt. Stress is a common theme throughout all their lives and the way the characters cope with the demands of the job at work and off duty tells readers everything they need to know in this ongoing series.

The result is an entertaining read that holds reader interest with several twist and turns. While not as gritty or intense as other reads in this genre niche, this novel is interesting and enjoyably depicts police life in a fictional small town. The concepts covered are universal and apply not only to members of law enforcement but for any readers who work in high stress jobs. The book, though short on length, delivers a good tale told well and one that for the most part is completely resolved by the end of the book.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

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