When the Killing's Done
T.C. Boyle
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Buy *When the Killing's Done* by T.C. Boyle online

When the Killing's Done
T.C. Boyle
384 pages
February 2012
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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The great novelists's newest book deals with a real place - the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, California - and a host of fictional characters, including Alma Takesue, the soft-spoken National Park Service spokesperson; Dave LaJoy, the animal rights fanatic and Takesue's nemesis; and a host of rats, snakes, pigs, foxes, birds and fauna.

Takesue and her side want to rid the islands of feral pigs and rats; LaJoy wants to preserve them. Within this battle, the book's auxiliary elements are laid out - relationships, racism, and moral courage - and the history reaches back several generations in laying out the story.

Boyle has gloriously detailed the origin and the landscape of the islands and his characters, but this one falls a bit short of his truly classic releases like The Tortilla Curtain, Water Music and Budding Prospects. There are the usual Boyle twists and turns, but When the Killing's Done doesn't quite capture the emotional pathos of his earlier works.

If you're a Boyle fan, you're still going to read this one and enjoy it, but probably not as much as his older novels.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2011

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