Compton, Jodi

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Compton, Jodi


ADDRESSES: Home—CA. Agent—Barney Karpfinger, Karpfinger Agency, 357 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011.

CAREER: Author and journalist. Worked variously as an author of police procedurals and journalist. Associated Press, Minneapolis, MN, reporter;, subeditor of central CA newspaper.



The Thirty-seventh Hour, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Sympathy between Humans, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Jodi Compton is the author of a series of police procedurals featuring Detective Sarah Pribek, a woman with a past who investigates missing persons for a sheriff's department in Minnesota. In Compton's 2004 debut title, The Thirty-seventh Hour, Pribek is investigating a case close to home, the disappearance of fellow detective Mike Shiloh, who also happened to be her husband. Shiloh and Pribek have been married for two months when he fails to turn up at an FBI training camp. While other police officers think the erratic Shiloh has simply run out on his new bride, Pribek doubts this is the situation and follows leads from Minnesota back to Utah, where Shiloh's family lives. Pribek also involves her partner, Genevieve Brown, in the hunt. For Brown, on leave and grieving after the brutal death of her daughter, this proves something of a life preserver, for the fact that her daughter's murderer has walked free on a technicality has affected her deeply. As Pribek continues her investigation, stories from the past come back to haunt the living.

A contributor for the Mystery Reader Web site called The Thirty-seventh Hour "a mystery that should not be missed." Jon Courtenay Grimwood observed in London's Guardian Unlimited that, "What begins as a slim and slightly unsatisfactory crime novel develops into an Old Testament unraveling of sin." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the novel "first-class, serious crime fiction," and in her review for Booklist, Connie Fletcher found The Thirty-seventh Hour a "nailbiter of a debut novel," and concluded: "Compton uses suspense as a powerful propellant." A critic for Kirkus Reviews warned readers to "watch this writer."

Compton followed her debut with Sympathy between Humans, once again featuring Pribek. In this installment, the female detective becomes the suspect in a murder case when she stonewalls over the killing of a low-grade hoodlum. A second plot line involves the investigation into the five-year-old disappearance of a famous writer's twin children. The writer, Marlinchen Hennessy, enlists Pribek's aid after other investigators have failed to come up with any leads. Part of the reason for the previous lack of success, Pribek soon discovers, is that Marlinchen has been less than reliable in the information she has supplied. The deeper Pribek gets into this missing-person's case, the darker the secrets she discovers about the Hennessy household. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews stated parts of the story "drift toward melodrama," but concluded, "Compton is clearly the goods." Booklist reviewer David Wright deemed Compton a "promising new voice in psychological suspense," while a contributor for Publishers Weekly felt her second book is a "multi-layered, touching tale of crimes and misdemeanors." Michelle Foyt, writing in Library Journal, praised Sympathy between Humans as a "first-rate sequel." A contributor for MBR Bookwatch called Sympathy between Humans "a strong thriller that will send readers seeking Sarah's previous appearance." Oline H. Cogdill, writing for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, concluded that "Compton's penchant for sharply realized characters and believable situations elevates her burgeoning series … [and] intelligently challenges the reader."

Speaking with Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub, and Wiley Saichek of, Compton credited the initial success of her series to two things: "One, a lot of noir is about male characters, not female. Two, often those noir heroes live in L.A., in a studio apartment under a neon sign and drink whiskey neat and so on. A noir about a young female investigator who lives in Minnesota and is married seems to have caught readers off guard, and I'm sort of pleased about that."



Booklist, December 1, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour, p. 650; February 1, 2005, David Wright, review of Sympathy between Humans, p. 944.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour, p. 1252; January 15, 2005, review of Sympathy between Humans, p. 84.

Kliatt, May, 2004, Melody Moxley, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour (audiobook), p. 56.

Library Journal, December, 2003, Jetta Carol Culpepper, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour, p. 164; February 15, 2005, Michelle Foyt, review of Sympathy between Humans, p. 114.

MBR Bookwatch, April, 2005, review of Sympathy between Humans.

Publishers Weekly, October 27, 2003, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour, p. 43; February 14, 2005, review of Sympathy between Humans, p. 54.

San Jose Mercury News, January 21, 2004, John Orr, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 27, 2005, Oline H. Cogdill, review of Sympathy between Humans.

ONLINE, (June 26, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour., (January 16, 2004), Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub, Wiley Saichek, "Jodi Compton Interview"; (March 11, 2005), Carol Fitzgerald, Joe Hartlaub, Wiley Saichek, "Jodi Compton Interview"; (June 26, 2005), Joe Hartlaub, review of The Thirty-seventh Hour.

BooksnBytes, (June 26, 2005), review of The Thirty-seventh Hour.

Guardian Online, (March 6, 2004), Jon Courtenay Grimwood, "Living in Sin," review of The Thirty-seventh Hour.

Mystery Reader Web site, (June 26, 2005), review of The Thirty-seventh Hour.