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Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You


Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You

There is more to Louisiana than New Orleans. If you have the time
and inclination, you can take I-10 East out of New Orleans (leave
early, before 6:30 a.m. if you can) and drive for approximately 60
miles along a highway where swamp foliage seems to strain at the
bit to encroach the macadam. You'll eventually see an outlet mall
on your left and, a few miles further away, a water park on your
right. You'll know that you're on the eastern border of Baton
Rouge, the state capital of Louisiana. There is a bit of
self-conscious resentment toward its brassier, better-known sister,
but the people who live in Baton Rouge tend to love the city.

Laurie Lynn Drummond is a rare Baton Rouge expatriate; born in
Virginia, Laurie was a uniformed officer with the Baton Rouge
Police Department and is now an assistant professor at St. Edward's
University in Austin, Texas. ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED
AGAINST YOU is Drummond's first work, a collection of short fiction
concerning female police officers on the Baton Rouge Force. It is a
noteworthy collection, both for what it is and for what it

Her stories are not police procedurals nor are they detective
stories. The focus is on people --- the officers and the victims.
The ten stories are divided among five police officers ---
Katherine, Liz, Mona, Cathy and Sara --- who are at various stages
in their careers and dealing with the difficulties of the job and
their outside lives. The stories are purportedly fiction, but there
is a documentary feel to most of them. There is really only one,
"Keeping The Dead Alive," that reads like a work of fiction, though
I would not be surprised if it was an accurate account of an actual
event. It is, coincidentally, the best story in the book and runs
on twin tracks. One is the investigation of the brutal murder of
Jeanette Durham, apparently by her husband. The other concerns the
clandestine memorial services held by a small group of female
police officers to remember women who are victims of violent
crimes. The memorial to Durham goes suddenly and violently wrong,
and the officers are faced with the choice of going by the book and
jeopardizing their careers, or extracting a rough but righteous
justice on their own. This is a haunting tale, worth the price of
admission all by itself; I will never drive by the Pearl River exit
off of I-59 by the Louisiana-Mississippi border again without
thinking of this story.

The other stories in this work are memorable in different ways.
"Under Control" is one of Mona's stories, an electrifying account
of a police response that plays out a family drama on two different
levels. "Katherine's Elegy" concerns a veteran, almost legendary,
police officer who uses leads by example but who also uses her
sensuality with a strange and somewhat sinister twist. "Finding a
Place" deals with a retired officer who is no longer of the world
of law enforcement and is experiencing an uneasy adjustment to
civilian life. And "Cleaning Your Gun" relates the story of an
officer who is bringing the strain and pressure of her job home ---
with adverse results.

of interest to fans of crime fiction --- though neat and tidy
endings to these stories are hardly the rule --- and some do not
deal with crimes at all, but are, rather, character studies. Those
readers interested in character studies, particularly women's
issues, will find this collection worthwhile, with the caveat that
the descriptions of violence and its aftermath can be unsettling.
The blurring of genres is, however, commendable. And I'm certain
that Drummond has many more dark stories to tell.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 20, 2011

Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You
by Laurie Lynn Drummond

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0060561629
  • ISBN-13: 9780060561628