Saturday, June 21, 2008

Exile Trust-Vincent O’Neil

Exile Trust
Vincent O’Neil
Dunne, Jul 2008, $23.95
ISBN 9780312380649

In Exile, Florida, bank manager Ollie Morton is concerned that the auditors will find discrepancies especially with the safe deposit boxes as the owners have vanished and payments not received. Police Chief Denny Dannon recommends Ollie hire Frank Cole, who needs work due to REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES, to find the missing clients. The bank’s safe-deposit manager Susan Wilmington also informs Frank how a strange person with proper identity claimed to be the husband of Dorothea Freehoffer and emptied her box; soon afterward, they learned Dorothea just died in an accident and her spouse was buried two years ago.

Frank investigates the Freehoffer scam that leads him to a real-estate swindle and a two decade old cold case homicide. He begins digging deeper angering those who want illegal activities including fraud and murder to remain a concealed scam.

Frank is terrific as he always is (see MURDER IN EXILE) although the plot is so linear, a reader can see the ending almost from the beginning; on a cloudy day you can see forever (or at least the ending) as there are no twists or red herrings. Still Frank is at his best as his simple tracking job turns into an investigation into fraud and murder. Fans of the series will enjoy his latest efforts in Exile.

Harriet Klausner