Author Robert Crais honed his skill as a writer for some of the most influential cop shows of all time -- Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice and Cagney & Lacey -- before chucking TV in the 80s to become a novelist. His modern novels feature literary flourishes such as fractured timelines, overlapping points-of-view and multiple layers. Suspect is his latest book, and it revolves around a Scott James, an LAPD officer on leave after being nearly killed in the same assault that killed his partner. James is well enough to pursue the case on his own time, but with a new partner, Maggie. Maggie's a recent war vet who also lost her partner in the line of duty, but she won't talk about it -- she's a German shepherd, after all, and they're a stoic breed of dog. Crais visits St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard; 314-994-3300 or www.slcl.org) at 7 p.m. tonight to discuss and sign copies of Suspect. Admission is free, and Crais' books will be sold on site by Left Bank Books.
Mon., Jan. 28, 2013