In David Daniel’s Goofy Foot, private investigator Alex Rasmussen, embarking on a rather routine search for a missing teenager, finds himself in cold water that couldn't be hotter, as the simple task balloons into a case of murderous surfers and a heart-stopping search for a killer. Kirkus Reviews raves, “The characters are painfully human, the dialogue sharp without being over the top, and the small-town ...
In David Daniel’s Goofy Foot, private investigator Alex Rasmussen, embarking on a rather routine search for a missing teenager, finds himself in cold water that couldn't be hotter, as the simple task balloons into a case of murderous surfers and a heart-stopping search for a killer. Kirkus Reviews raves, “The characters are painfully human, the dialogue sharp without being over the top, and the small-town ambience dead-on.”
It's been a long time since Alex Rasmussen's last appearance, in Daniel's The Skelly Man (1995), but his superb third outing shows the Lowell, Mass., PI at the top of his form as he takes on a missing persons case that spirals from a deceptively simple beginning into a convoluted and increasingly dangerous search. A teenage girl, Michelle Nickerson, whose parents divorced when she was five, is supposed to be with her father, Ben Nickerson, in the town of Standish, where Ben grew up. But her mother hasn't heard from her and can't locate either of them. Rasmussen's initial probes unearth only vague sightings and possibilities. Gradually, more sinister scenarios connected to Ben's past and Standish's future emerge. With a fine feel for small-town life, the author skillfully draws on the radical changes that have occurred in places like Standish in recent decades and depicts a complex cast of suspects, allies, outcasts and good guys. Rasmussen's faults, foibles and grit, however, carry the load. Readers will want to scurry to find Daniel's earlier books in the series, though if they come across his and Chris Carpenter's Murder at the Baseball Hall of Fame (1996), they may be disappointed to find it isn't in the same league. (Feb. 9) FYI: Heaven Stone (1994), the first Rasmussen book, won St. Martin's 1993 contest for Best First Private Eye Novel. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
P.I. Rasmussen searches for a teenaged girl and her father, both of whom have apparently gone missing from their rented beach house south of Boston. The resort town also happens to be the disappeared man's hometown, so Alex uncovers plenty of secrets during his interrogations. After one of his helpful informants-one of the last people to see the missing man alive-dies under suspicious circumstances, Alex becomes even more determined to find the truth. A skillful narrative, intermittent humor, an empathetic protagonist, and a leisurely plot will surely produce requests for additional series titles. Daniel's The Heaven Stone won the publisher's 1993 Best First Private Eye Novel. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Smooth shamus Alex Rasmussen hits the beach to search for a missing teenager. The preeminent private eye in Lowell, Massachusetts (The Skelly Man, 1995, etc.), is hired by affluent suburbanite Paula Jensen to find her daughter Michelle, whom she hasn't heard from in two days. Michelle had been spending a week visiting Ben Nickerson, her father, in California, and another driving back with him to Boston's South Shore to extend her vacation. Though she considers this trip a hostile act, Paula displays no rancor. Indeed, the Jensens and their household seem nearly perfect. Paula's only worry about Michelle is her affinity for heavy-metal bands. Alex, however, learns from Michelle's younger sister Katie that her relationship with her mom and her stepfather Ross was strained. At the beach, patronizing Police Chief Delcastro shrugs off Paula's concern and remains unhelpful, even though Ben Nickerson turns out to be missing too, and clues are scarce. The last person to see Ben alive was a sunny young woman named Jillian, whom he picked up at a seaside bar. When Jillian dies in a suspicious car crash, instinct tells Alex that he's rattling the right cages. But ferreting out the solution takes considerably more legwork as well as standing up to some passive-aggressive players who want to keep the truth a secret. Daniel's easy style makes riding with Alex a pleasure, but the passive-aggressive plot could use more tension.
David Daniel was born in Boston and grew up on the South Shore, where he learned to surf. His novel The Heaven Stone won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Private Eye Novel contest and was a Shamus award nominee. In addition to seven novels, including White Rabbit and The Skelly Man, he has written for Surfer magazine and has published more than 70 short stories. He is currently the Jack Kerouac Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.