Dog Island

Dog Island

5.0 2
by Mike Stewart

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Hard-nosed Southern lawyer Tom McInnes is on the trail of a mysterious Alabama mob-and his only source is a girl who has never trusted a man in her life.

"This is a good, fast read." (Publishers Weekly)

"Fast and suspenseful...filled with colorful, eccentric but believable characters." (Dallas Morning News)


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Hard-nosed Southern lawyer Tom McInnes is on the trail of a mysterious Alabama mob-and his only source is a girl who has never trusted a man in her life.

"This is a good, fast read." (Publishers Weekly)

"Fast and suspenseful...filled with colorful, eccentric but believable characters." (Dallas Morning News)

"Action-packed. Can the blockbuster movie be far behind?" (Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

Editorial Reviews

Action-packed. Can the blockbuster movie be far behind?
Dallas Morning News
Fast and suspenseful...filled with colorful, eccentric but believable characters.
Action-packed. Can the blockbuster movie be far behind?
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After his well-received first mystery, Sins of the Brother (1999), Stewart scores big again with this second Tom McInnes thriller. McInnes, Mobile, Ala., lawyer and righter of wrongs, takes the case of Carli Monroe on the advice of Susan Fitzsimmons, a woman he met in his previous adventure. Carli, a young teenage runaway, has witnessed a brutal murder in an isolated beach cottage on the Florida Panhandle. The problem is, as McInnes learns the hard way, the local sheriff is in cahoots with the killers. For help with the rough stuff, McInnes turns to his friend Joey, a strapping private detective and former Navy intelligence agent, and Loutie Blue, a former stripper. Their investigation leads them to the Bodines, a vicious extended family known on the Panhandle as the "Redneck Mafia," who are none too particular about eliminating people who get in their way. McInnes narrowly escapes death several times as it soon becomes clear he's on the Bodines' hit list. When Carli disappears and a mysterious Cuban with his own special anti-Castro agenda enters the action, McInnes and his cohorts are really in trouble. This is a good, fast read, but not for the squeamish. (Jan. 11) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Southern attorney Tom McInnes is asked by a friend to look into a case where a young teenage runaway has seen a murder. Carli, the runaway, is in a predicament. The mob will try to get her as well as her abusive father, who would like to get control of her again. She needs to run�but where and to whom? MacInnes takes the case and finds there are more layers to the situation than he had imagined. This would make a great movie! KLIATT Codes: SA�Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Berkley, Prime Crime, 290p.,
— Barbara Jo McKee

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 6.72(h) x 0.86(d)

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Chapter One

Spring rains east of Baton Rouge had poured fog across Mobile Bay. A cool breeze, stirred up by warm days and cool nights, swept down the beach and across the second-floor deck where it tugged at my robe. Inside, through French doors, red dots hovered in the dark over the bedside table, showing that it was a little after four in the morning.

    Glenfiddich scotch and Umbérto Eco had finally put me under a little after midnight—about three hours before I woke and wandered out on the deck. I was getting used to it. You can get a lot of thinking done if you aren't able to sleep.

    The bedroom phone was ringing. A greenish-white glow pulsed next to the red dots on the clock. The answering machine was off, and I watched the telephone ring for most of a minute before walking into the bedroom. I picked up the handset and cleared my throat. "Hello?"

    A woman's voice said, "Tom?"

    "Yeah, this is Tom."

    "Tom, this is Susan Fitzsimmons. I apologize for calling in the middle of the night."

    I felt for the switch on the bedside lamp, and yellow light jarred the backs of my eyes. "Are you all right?"

    Susan said, "I'm fine. Something bad has happened though."

    "What do you mean by `something bad'?"

    "There's someone here with me who needs to talk to you. We need some legal advice on how to handle a disturbing situation."

    I had known Susan for six months. We met in early October when fall was just starting to cool the GulfCoast. She was smart and graceful and striking, and I had almost gotten her killed. Or, at least, I was one reason among many why Susan found herself limping through the holidays recovering from knife wounds. One set of reasons was that her artist husband had gotten greedy, crossed my little brother, and ended up with his throat sliced open. Another was that I stuck my nose in and figured out what happened and, along the way, managed to bring an impressively dangerous person into Susan's life. Now she had only fading memories of her dead husband and, apparently, a friend in trouble. I had a dead brother and a long line of sleepless nights. And I was not blind to the possibility that, over the past few months, I might have been wallowing in it a bit.

    I reached for the pen and pad on the bedside table. I asked, "Where are you?"

    "We're at the beach house on St. George. The girl who needs to talk to you is," she paused, "a friend of mine here on the island. She thinks she may have seen someone get killed. You know, murdered. Earlier tonight on the beach."

    I thought, damn. I said, "I'm assuming she wasn't involved."

    "No. Well, only to the extent that she saw it happen."

    "Then the advice is easy. Call the cops."

    "She wasn't involved, but it's more complicated than that." Susan sounded unsure of what to say. "I think she needs to talk to a lawyer."

    "What's complicated about it?"

    Susan didn't answer.

    "It's okay to talk on the phone. No one's listening."

    "You're right. I guess it's silly, but I am uncomfortable talking this way. Part of the problem is, well, you know how it is down here on the coast. Somebody disappears or you see somebody flashing a wad of money or somebody looks like they're up to no good, first thing that pops into your head is it's got something to do with drugs. And you never know whose brother or cousin or friend might be involved, so you don't know who's safe to talk to."

    "She thinks she saw some kind of drug hit?"

    "Tom, she doesn't know what it was. Just that somebody got killed right in front of her, and she's scared out of her mind. And here's the complicated part. She's a runaway, and she's a minor. She's absolutely terrified that her family's going to find out where she is and come get her. You know, if she goes to the police and they check her out and find out she's a runaway."

    "Susan, maybe her father or mother coming to get her is the best thing that could come out of this."

    "I don't think so."

    "What do you mean, you don't think so? You can't decide something like that on your own."

    "In this case, I can."

    "I guess there's something you're not telling me."

    She didn't answer.

    I gave up. "When did it happen?"

    "When did what happen?"

    "The murder. When did this friend ... What's her name?"

    "Carli. Carli Monroe."

    "When did Carli see this happen?"

    "About three hours ago, I think."


    "Yes, I know." Susan hesitated, then said, "She needs to talk to a lawyer, Tom. I hate to ask, but could you come down here?"

    "Susan, I know she's scared, but I'm not a criminal attorney. Hell, I'm not even licensed in Florida. And I'm supposed to be at a meeting in Tuscaloosa this afternoon. My advice is to find a good local attorney, somebody who's down at the courthouse every week drinking coffee with the prosecutors and bailiffs, and work through him or her."

    Susan lowered her voice. "Tom, it's taken me two hours to get her to let me make this call." She had cupped her hand over the mouthpiece, and her muffled words buzzed around the edges. "Carli doesn't know who to trust down here and neither do I. If you don't help, she's just going to leave here and try to deal with it by herself. And she's not really capable of doing that." I didn't respond. Seconds passed as faint static filled the earpiece. Finally, Susan just repeated my name with what sounded like a little shame sprinkled over it.

    My mouth tasted bitter and smoky from last night's scotch and three hours sleep. I breathed deeply to clear my head and looked out at the night. Light from the bedside lamp had washed out the view through open French doors, merging sea and sky and clouds into one black sheet. Susan waited some more while I decided to do the right thing. I said, "I'll be there around midmorning."

    "Thanks. I'm sorry to do this to you."

    "Don't worry about it. I should have said yes right away."

    Puffs of clean air rolled through the open door and across the bed. I walked into the bathroom and splashed water against my face and neck before going back to the phone and punching in a seven-digit number. A deep voice, wide awake, answered on the second ring.

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