I had the good fortune to see Steve Lopez speaking at the Philadelphia Free Public Library a couple of weeks ago. He is promoting his book "The Soloist", written awhile ago but about to be released at the end of the year as a movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jaime Fox. Anyway, I was so taken with Lopez I decided to read anything I could find in the library written by him. "In the Clear" was my first choice and I wasn't disappointed. A great mystery with engaging characters, the added attraction being, it's set locally with many mentions of Wildwood, Atlantic City, Somers Point and Ocean City. Steve Lopez was a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer
for many years so he is familiar with the South Jersey resorts. The time frame of the story is when Atlantic City was expanding the casino business, and it deals with the ensuing changes that surrounding communities experienced. Add to that some citizen activists with their own personal axes to grind and you have a page turner. Give it a try, you'll like it.
--Reviewed by Pauline Brady