Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shallow Grave-Lori G. Armstrong

Shallow Grave
Lori G. Armstrong
Medallion, Nov 2007, $7.95
ISBN: 9781933836188

In Bear Butte County South Dakota private investigative partners Julie Collins and Kevin Wells freeze their butts off observing Langston Everett for Rushmore West Insurance who believes he is pulling an injury compensation scam. After feeling colder than a frozen popsicle, the surveillance team snaps into action when Lang leaves his home to ride an ATV; Julie and Kevin follow filming his activity until his vehicle suddenly flies into the air. He is dead and there is a big hole in the ground that Lang apparently drove partly in before flying over a nearby embankment. Kevin calls the sheriff’s office.

As Sheriff Al Richards and his team check the crime scene, Lang’s spouse June arrives to learn of her husband’s death. She asks Julie to say nothing about the hole that was covered, but is back sans the bones of humans that were buried there. Al asks Julie to help on the case as he lacks manpower, but that leads to issues with the Standing Elk family. They hid information related to her brother Ben as Abita Kahlen arrives from Arizona accompanied by her three years old son Jericho who has a face that could only mean he is Julie’s nephew.

The third Collins private investigative mystery (see HOLLOWED GROUND and BLOOD TIES) continues to provide insight into what happened to Ben with a few side shockers. The current case causes additional strain on Julie, but courageously she keeps digging in an effort to learn what was in the SHALLOW GRAVE that was re-dug leading to Lang’s demise and much more as a simple insurance fraud case turns deadly and personal. Lori G. Armstrong lives up to the last syllable of her surname with this superb whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

1 comment:

safasf said...

去年下半年以來的 酒店工作金融海嘯,不僅讓市井小民壓力沉重, 酒店上班就連專營高檔客層的精品商家,也都面臨不小的壓力, 寒假打工

隨著股市、房市 暑假打工的熱絡氣象,外界預期一些辛苦經營的精品店面、 酒店PT商圈,將順勢而起,不過,熟悉大台北商圈的欣元商仲總經理焦文華直言,目 禮服酒店前精品業者的經營還相當艱困,景氣反轉的力道並不如外界預期。

焦文華分析,精品商圈 兼差的經營,確實還是面臨消費力不足的困境。目前消費者物價指數已連續兩個月負成長(六、七月份),具體反映出消費力衰退的現象,高檔的珠寶、手錶、服飾等精品市場感受更深,部分店家業績 打工,更是過去高峰期的三分之一,業者稱得上是「苦撐待變」。

永慶店面事業部 台北酒店經紀經理李元鳳表示,精品商圈在金融海 酒店經紀嘯中確實面臨很大的壓力,且當時都無法預期景氣何時好轉 酒店打工,耗費數百萬元的裝潢成本,更迫使業者無法輕言放棄。以當時的天母SOGO商圈為例,就算距離天母SOG 酒店兼差O百貨的開幕已經不到半年的時間,但周邊店面的空置率仍高達二十%,顯示屋主與業者都存有濃厚的觀望心態,這 酒店兼職與過去市場會提前反映利多現象有顯著差異。



徐佳馨表示,從空置率數據來看,與去年狀況極差的第四季相比 酒店,精品商圈的空置率都出現明顯的下降,但由於各界對於景氣是否反彈仍有疑慮,因此就算租金與售價已開始蠢動,但是否能夠真實反映市場實況,仍存有許多變數。