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On an icy February night, an office on patrol in Portland, Maine discovers the body of a prominent local physician in his parked Mercedes. The motor's running, the radio's playing, but Dr. Steven Pleasant is already growing cold. Despite the unusual weapon-a sharpened metal rod rammed down the doctor's throat-Sgt. Joe Burgess finds all the signs of a john killed by a disgruntled hooker. ...
On an icy February night, an office on patrol in Portland, Maine discovers the body of a prominent local physician in his parked Mercedes. The motor's running, the radio's playing, but Dr. Steven Pleasant is already growing cold. Despite the unusual weapon-a sharpened metal rod rammed down the doctor's throat-Sgt. Joe Burgess finds all the signs of a john killed by a disgruntled hooker. Pleasant's wallet is missing, his pants unzipped, and he has a reputation for entertaining girls in his car.
But as things unfold for Burgess and his investigative teammates Terry Kyle and Stan Perry, the case is anything but straightforward. Dr. Pleasant was not known for his soothing bedside manner.
Investigations reveal a greedy and ambitious man with an eager eye on the bottom line.
The deeper they probe, the muddier the picture grows. Pleasant's colleagues and the hospital staff aren't forthcoming. Pleasant's former wife said she wished him dead. On the night he died, Pleasant was with a gorgeous mystery girl unknown to anyone on the street. Pleasant is rumored to have been a source for Oxycontin. While the team juggles hookers, wives, ex-wives, fathers, step-fathers, dealers, and doctors, many with something to hide, and searches for the mystery girl, a nurse from Pleasant's staff suggest another angle-a disgruntled patient.
The trail leads from the doorsteps of supercilious millionaires to the living rooms of shotgun wielding women and at long last back to the hospital, where late one night, Burgess confronts the ghosts of his past and what being a detective really means.
Posted December 9, 2008
On a wintry night in Portland, Maine, patrol officer Remy Aucoin discovers the corpse of a man sitting in his Mercedes. Detective Joe Burgess heads the investigation into the murder of prominent radiologist Dr. Steven Pleasant, who was known for entertaining call girls in his car. The crime scene makes it appear that a hooker, angered with her John, committed the homicide by shoving a steel rod down his throat. Joe and his team, Terry Kyle and Stan Perry, begin to investigate seeking the motive. They talk with the spouse, who knew her husband went elsewhere for his needs and allegedly wanted him dead. That is followed up with other family members who also hated Steven. The cops visit his medical partners and his helpers who are reticent about the deceased, but inadvertently describe the victim as an ambitious person coveting fast money. Finally they talk with hookers who knew the doctor intimately. Soon they uncover inconclusive evidence that Dr. Pleasant was selling Oxycontin while a nurse quietly claims he alienated patients. The potential list of people with a motive, means, and opportunity keeps growing as the victim was not a pleasant person to work with. --- This is an interesting police procedural starring the so called ¿meanest¿ cop in Maine, but readers will see that no nonsense Joe is actually a caring person who does not abide with official stupidity. The story line is fast-paced (part of the reason is to stay warm while at an outdoor crime scene in winter) as the number of people with a motive mounts exponentially with every subgroup that were part of the unpleasant Steven¿s circle. Leaving Thea Kozak to thaw out, Kate Flora provides readers with an entertaining hard boiled murder mystery. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.