Dining with Devils
Five Star, Apr 2009, $25.95
On Tasmania, a visiting gundog trial judge is shot by an apparent blind man who was participating with blanks firing at clay pigeons. At the scene as a civilian is police Sergeant Charlie Banes holding obvious Bluey the dog before he takes charge of the murder scene. His friend Canadian author Teague Kendell, who wrote the true crime thriller THE SPECIALIST and American novelist Tex Henderson are there too; the deadly bullet grazed Rex’s ear.
Meanwhile renowned caver Kirsten Knelsen, who saved Teague’s life on Vancouver Island from the Specialist, is inside a cave with several locals when they find a displaced knife that they take back with them to give to the cops. That night Dr. Ralph “the Specialist” Stafford thought dead in Canada, uses a post hypnotic spell to easily kidnap Kirsten. Stafford looks forward to serving Knelsen as dinner. Teague’s ex-wife Rose Chapman and sniper Ian Boyd arrive at the same isolated cabin that Stafford holds Kirsten. Rose was his nurse and Ian a patient so Stafford has no problem controlling them. A frantic Teague tells Charlie that Kirsten is missing. Nothing adds up as he believes Stafford lives, but if Charlie cannot crack the case soon, Stafford will enjoy his repast Kirsten.
The sequel to the SPECIALIST is an exciting Tasmanian thriller in which the real devil is Dr. Stafford, an obvious take on Lector. The story line is fast-paced from the opening murder and never slows down until the final climax when justice is served cold. Bluey provides comic relief as well as heroism. Fans will enjoy DINING WITH DEVILS but would have appreciated more insight as to how Stafford not only found his way out of a cave, but killed a deadly cougar. Still Gordon Aalborg provides an exciting thriller as time is running out for Kirsten and Teague as Stafford plans to serve them as gourmet delights.