Remains to Be Seen
Five Star, Jul 2008, $25.95
In the frozen Maine woods, Police Lieutenant Webb Harrington asks his rookie partner, federally funded trainee Florida Deputy Sheriff Perci Piper what she notices at the crime scene beyond the obvious. She says the dead Cleeve College President Sam Spatz is tied to a tree with his hands stretched in a crucified position. She wonders if someone reacted angrily to the victim’s antiabortion tirade that many connect to the recent death of student Alice Umber from a self administered abortion.
Haskell Paine, brother of Sam’s widow Claire and Assistant to State Majority leader George Edison, demands Perci be taken off the case because of her intrusive inquiries into the Umber death that she tied to college superstar quarterback Vinnie Milano. She is left on the case, but told to be cautious as she interviews the locals. Under Sam’s tutelage, Perci begins to tie Vinnie with Claire, but the connected almost always get away with crime even a homicide.
This superb police procedural provides the audience deep insight into what a detective seeks in an investigation via Sam’s mentoring of Perci who wants to learn. They make a wonderful pairing with Sam more like a father and she the daughter; her enthusiasm to learn is catchy and leads to his vigorous teaching her. The case is well done and fun to follow, but it is the Webb-Perci relationship that makes for a fine whodunit in which the audience will want more teacher-student inquiries from this dynamo pair.