Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Listen to the Dead-Randall Peffer

Listen to the Dead
Randall Peffer
Tyrus Books, Aug 1 2010, $14.95
ISBN: 9781935562184

Bird Island harbormaster Corby Church uncovers human bones. Police Chief Chi Chi Bugatti sends untested Detective Yemanja Colon to lead the inquiry into who the victim was; her first as the head investigator. She arrives on Bird Island with enthusiasm as she looks forward to her initial solo performance.

However, something strange occurs to Yemanja when she becomes the voice of the unidentified twenty something female victim. Since the murder occurred in the 1980s most people assume the dead woman was a victim of the New Bedford serial killer, who murdered at least eleven people. Yemanja finds herself attracted to Corby but suspects he is hiding something germane to the case. Corby conceals he once had a relationship of sorts with the dead female identified as Remy La Moreaux. They and three other men sailed to the Bahamas together.

Part of the fun in reading the exciting fifth Cape Islands whodunit (see Killing Neptune’s Daughters, Bangkok Dragons, and Cape Cod Tears) is the relationship between the chief and his inexperienced subordinate as it evolves until this is her first lead. Yemanja is nervous, anxious, and confident while Chi Chi is sort of like a parent letting the child drive the car without adult supervision. Randall Peffer explains that the mystery has ties to the real unsolved New Bedford Highway serial killer as he provides a strong entertaining police procedural.

Harriet Klausner

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