Bone Island Mambo (Alex Rutledge Series #3)

Bone Island Mambo (Alex Rutledge Series #3)

4.5 9
by Tom Corcoran
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A pleasant Key West Sunday in January turns into a tropical nightmare.

It's early. The tourists are still asleep. Freelance and part-time crime photographer Alex Rutledge bicycles near-vacant streets, taking pictures for his own enjoyment. But he's challenged at a restoration district construction site, accused by a developer of snapping photos for an expose.

Overview

A pleasant Key West Sunday in January turns into a tropical nightmare.

It's early. The tourists are still asleep. Freelance and part-time crime photographer Alex Rutledge bicycles near-vacant streets, taking pictures for his own enjoyment. But he's challenged at a restoration district construction site, accused by a developer of snapping photos for an expose.

An hour later, the city police request Rutledge's forensic photo expertise. A murder victim has been found - at the same work site. Detective Dexter Hayes, Jr., is caustic and inept, and Rutledge is dismissed before he completes his work. An hour later, the county sheriff, Chicken Neck Liska, asks Alex to photograph another murder victim, this time on nearby Stock Island.

Rutledge soon suspects that the murders are linked - illogically, through him. He can't divulge the link to his lover, Teresa Barga, for fear of compromising her police media liaison job. Alex questions the detective's blundering, while the cops begin to link him to the crimes. A powerful real estate broker offers Rutledge an odd, lucrative job. Friends are threatened. He and Teresa dodge gunshots. Yet there is no identifiable antagonist, no motive, no reason for Rutledge to be a hub for evil. To protect himself and his friends, to avoid arrest - unsuccessfully, at first - he must scratch for information on an island where few tell the truth.

At the core of Bone Island Mambo is betrayal, retribution, and revenge. The plot twists in surprising directions, and Corcoran's characters are true characters, never as laid-back as they first appear. Visit Key West, and hang on for dear life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliantly written"—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Tom Corcoran means business...You won't think of Key West as quite so laid-back again."—Miami Herald

Janet Evanovich
Bone Island Mambo starts fast and never lets up. Key West's crazies are a hoot, and Tom Corcoran's plot and range of characters add to a series that won't quit. Treat yourself to an exotic setting, laughs, and suspense.
Steve Hamilton
Tom Corcoran knows the human heart, sure as hell knows how to write a good book, and knows Key West - a setting so real you'll get a sunburn.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Key West crime scene photographer Alex Rutledge (The Mango Opera; Gumbo Limbo) returns for his third fast-paced adventure. Someone is recreating a number of bizarre murders dressing victims in drag, making off with heads and our hero is tapped as a main suspect. In clearing his name, Rutledge leads a fine tour of the area, from the Green Parrot bar to fishing flats in the mangrove forests. The best aspect of this novel is summed up in the line, "Key West used to be a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem." Corcoran captures this local atmosphere extremely well he clearly knows the turf (his photographs have appeared on several recordings by Key West mainstay Jimmy Buffett). But the style he uses to make this novel exciting invests every action with the same weight, from opening a beer ("I took the bottle, twisted the cap, spun it into the trash") to Rutledge being chased in his Shelby Mustang by gun-wielding assassins. Corcoran often seems almost postmodern, sitting outside his narrative and noting, "Instead for want of an action word they had messed with us." Or, regarding the convoluted and not very believable solution to the mystery: "`You missed your calling,' I said. `All these cable networks are looking for script writers.' " Sure to please fans of the series and folks who enjoy lightweight Florida crime novels. (May 21) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Freelance Key West photographer Alex Rutledge (Gumbo Lindo, 1999, etc.), who keeps his Kawasaki tuned and his beers lined up by filling in for the police department's regular crime-scene photographer when he's unavailable, is called on to document two different corpses who not only share the same death-day, but the same birthday, the same vital statistics, even the same name: Richard Engram. How can that be? It all ties in with Key West's leading criminal enterprise: construction rip-offs, with side excursions to a stolen-car depot, several drug-distribution centers, the backseat of local reporter Marnie Dunwoody's car, her brother Butler's building site, and setups too numerous to mention, which not only make ill-tempered, money-loving Heidi Norquist look bad but make her fancy Jag disappear. Bodies go down quicker than the margaritas at Jimmy Buffett's place. Alex is tailed (natch), pummeled (of course), and loved (this is the sex-drenched tropics, after all) by the queen-sized Teresa Barga. By the time sunset rolls around, Alex has fought his way through zoning irregularities, permit fixing, and smart-mouthing from ex-girlfriends—not to mention as many clues as six-packs. Corcoran's staccato riffs (who needs nouns anyway?), mildly entertaining rejoinders, and Key West setting (which he gets dead-on, the chickens scratching under the tables at Blue Heaven to the traffic upheaval on Caroline Street) make this prime hammock-fodder, and about as logical as your average conch's thought processes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312980085
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Series:
Alex Rutledge Series , #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
341
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.94(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Brilliantly written"—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Tom Corcoran means business...You won't think of Key West as quite so laid-back again."—Miami Herald

Meet the Author

Tom Corcoran has been a bartender, disc jockey, screenwriter, Navy officer and journalist. He co-wrote the Buffett hits "Fins" and "Cuban Crimes of Passion." He is the author of Gumbo Limbo, Bone Island Mambo, and other Alex Rutledge mysteries. He lives in the Lower Keys, Florida.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Bone Island Mambo (Alex Rutledge Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Free lance photographer Alex Rutledge takes pictures of a construction site that he will add to his collection of shots over the years reflecting changes to Key West. However, first he is yelled at for taking photos and soon three thugs attack him.

Later that same day, Detective Sergeant Dex Hayes hires Alex to take shots of a murder scene at the same construction site he was at earlier. No time to change film rolls, Alex quickly arrives at the crime scene and takes pictures of the dead project manager Richard Engrom. However, Dex cuts him off early and tells him to give the roll to the official police photographer, who is also at the location. Alex wonders why Dex contaminates the crime scene, flushing any hope of catching a killer down the toilet. Other murders follow and Alex realizes that he is either paranoid or the link to the homicides. Wondering if his turn is next, Alex begins his own inquiries.

Tom Corcoran Key West mysteries (see THE MANGO OPERA and GUMBO LIMBO) are always fun to read as the audience gains a taste of the Conch Republic. The latest Rutledge mystery, BONE ISLAND MAMBO, continues the entertaining nature of the previous novels. Alex remains a wonderful complete character and his girlfriend and friends help the audience understand him better. The who-done-it is an enjoyable well written amateur sleuth tale that enhances the key cast members. Mr. Corcoran is three for three.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much that I am intent on reading the rest of this author's work. I feel as though I experienced all the events along with Alex Rutledge. My personal knowledge of Key West is limited to a few hours spent there this past summer. My impression wasn't entirely favorable and, given my brief exposure, I had assumed and hoped that there was much more to the island. Well Tom Corcoran described this mystery with such detail that I could see, smell and feel the environment which at times were locations that I would never intentionally go myself. I developed distinct emotions about the characters which held my interest in reading because I needed to know what happened next. There was no predictability in this tale. Not being a Conch myself, I found the depth of history and emotion along with the intricate puzzle of diverse personalities to be great reading. I had a great time, and I will never think of Key West in the same way again.
MangroveMan More than 1 year ago
Superb Keys Writer!! In all of Tom Corcoran’s murder/mystery novels, if you want an intriguing read set in decadent South Florida, filthy rich in plot and many, memorable characters, Tom’s, Alex Rutledge series set in Key West delivers. If you enjoy an author that has a fabulous ear for great dialogue and a keen focus on detail, Tom delivers. If, you are like me, and you want to walk, live, experience, remember what Key West is about, now, then and the past, Tom connects your heart and soul to the southernmost island at the end of the road on U.S.1. -William Williamson, prose poet and novelist, author of Some Came First and Some Came After
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book with a number of characters introduced early. Tough keeping track of some of the characters since the transfer from print to electronic format had one of the main characters with their named spelled differently. In numerous places a "ll" translated into a "U". The word "the" translated to "die". If you ignored the electronic translation problems, it was a good book. Suggest purchasing a hard copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago