Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Third Strike-Phillip R. Craig & William G. Tapply

Third Strike
Phillip R. Craig & William G. Tapply
Scribner, Dec 2007, $24.00
ISBN :9781416532560

The drivers who operate the ferry entering and leaving Martha’s Vineyard are on strike stranding vacationers who have to pay higher prices for goods and services. The first death having to do with the strike is Eduardo Alvarez who got killed when he supposedly blew up the Trident that was crewed with scabs. Alvarez’s wife tells Zee Jackson that her husband was a militant pacifist who would have nothing to do with blowing up things. Zee asks her husband detective J. W. to investigate what really happened.

In Boston, lawyer Brady Coyne gets a call from client Larry Bucyck asking him to come to the Vineyard because he needs help. When he gets there, Brady is shown a house where Larry saw a boat running without lights unloading crates and the men were carrying uzis. Brady sleeps over at Larry’s house and the next morning leaves the house with his client still sleeping. When he returns, Larry is gone; he finds him in the pigpen, a bullet in his body and obvious signs of torture on the corpse. Brady stays at the home of his friend sleuth J.W. The two men working separately realize both investigations are linked by terrorists who have the same goal. Now J. W. and Brady have to figure out the logistics, the target and the location and then stop them using deadly force if necessary.

Due to the recent death of Phillip R. Craig this is probably the last J.W. Jackson-Brady Coyne collaboration, but this superb tale pays homage to the great author. Readers will feel the loss because this was an exceptional series and THIRD STRIKE is a fantastic who done it. The regional mystery captures the ambience of Martha’s Vineyard and makes readers aware that not all who live on the island are rich. The natives who live there year round get much of their bounty from the sea. The pairing of Brady Coyne and J.W. Jackson is well done as each brings something special to the investigation.

Harriet Klausner

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