Philip R. Craig
Scribner, Jun 2008, $24.00
Retired Boston cop J.W. Jackson and his family are shocked when his friend Clay Stockton arrives unannounced for a visit in the dead of winter on Martha’s Vineyard as mainlanders never come out in January or February. Apparently a local boat builder has hired Clay. J.W. likes the swashbuckling Clay, but also knows where the man goes trouble follows.
Sure enough not long afterward, two armed men come looking for Clay. J.W. sends the strangers to the local cops while warning Clay to stay alert. At the same time a bird’s nest containing strands of human red hair has been found; hair that matches missing Nadine Gibson, who disappeared last year; the prime suspect is Bonzo who took her bird-watching just before she vanished.
This excellent Vineyard thriller is a terrific tale that pays homage to its late great author. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as Clay lives up to his reputation and Bonzo becomes a person of interest; both friends force J.W. to act out of a deep sense of loyalty. Fans will feel the icy chill in the air as murder comes to the Cape.