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Posted April 23, 2013
I have come late to this author¿s books, of which there have six
I have come late to this author’s books, of which there have sixteen between 1987 and today, many of them in the series whose protagonist is Daniel Oliver Thorn, “the man from Key Largo” known simply as Thorn, whose well-deserved reputation is that of someone “going off the rails at warp speed.” As this most recent book in the series opens, Thorn is drawn into the investigation of serial murders committed by a person dubbed as “the obit killer,” with the police believing that the killer, who leaves a recent, seemingly unrelated obituary near his victims’ bodies, has found secret codes hidden in them, codes he uses as blueprints for his killings.”
Thorn contacts April Moss, the journalist who wrote the obituaries in question for The Miami Herald, a woman he met many years ago and with whom he had a very brief, but very intense, history, also known as a one-night stand. In an odd coincidence [or is it?], April has two sons, both of whom work on the cable TV show “Miami Ops;” one of them is the head writer for the show, the other is an actor in it. The other common factor in these killings is that it appears that they are copycats of plots used in the scripts for the show.
The supporting characters are all memorable: Laurence Sugarman, known to all as “Sugar,” Thorn’s friend and a “security professional” - - they were lifelong friends, “Thorn, a loner by choice;” Sugar, of mixed race “ an outsider by blood”); April’s mother, Garvey, a feisty senior citizen; their Doberman, Boxley; but most of all, Rusty Stabler, Thorn’s lover for two years and his wife for a month (after it was discovered that she had terminal cancer), and the young woman whose foster mother was Rusty’s aunt, a nineteen-year-old small-town Sheriff with the unlikely name of Buddha Hilton, an unforgettable character who gets Thorn entangled in the investigation.
The novel is written with lyrical prose that suddenly turns an interesting novel into something more urgent, at once literally breaktaking and unputdown-able, and it is highly recommended.
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Posted November 30, 2011
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