Friday, June 27, 2008

Prodigal Son-Thomas B. Cavanagh

Prodigal Son
Thomas B. Cavanagh
Dunne, Jul 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312377076

Former police officer Mike Garrity plans to recover from surgery to remove a brain tumor (see HEAD GAMES). However, he considers the advice of his friend Jimmy Hungerford of A-Plus Investigators to become a private investigator as the cases are simple yet will keep him occupied.

Before he can decide whether he feels ready, Mile attends the funeral of teenage suicide Victor Madrigas, a classmate of his daughter Jennifer; the late teen’s grieving father Ben believes his son was murdered and after pleading with Mike that he will pay him to investigate, Mike agrees. Mike and fellow cancer survivor support group participant Debbie Watson are attracted to one another. They spend a night together. Her prognosis is very serious so in the morning she begs Mike to find her son she gave up years ago for adoption. Mike agrees. Finally his former wife Cam informs him she is carrying his child. Meanwhile after absorbing the shocker of being a father again, Mike finds Debbie’s son, Jonathan Dennis, but his roommate Steven Schumacher keeps Mike from meeting him. When Mike breaks into their apartment, he is greeted by Jonathan’s corpse and soon afterward jailed on suspicion of murder. Out on bail, Mike is shocked as Debbie is missing.

Mike has enough on his plate with the cancer, but in some ways he agrees with Jimmy to get back to work soonest so as to avoid a self pity party; all those who care about him will drown him enough with their misguided sympathy. Thus by taking on the two cases, he becomes a role model while the audience obtains a hectic incredibly fast-paced investigative tale as Mike not so gaily and readers quite happily wonder what’s going on.

Harriet Klausner

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