Pornographic canvases paint a town bloody.
Chief of Police Hank Reed, who heads a force of four in tiny Eastpoint, earned his law-enforcement chops as a homicide cop in New York’s Suffolk County. That turns out to be fortunate, since no one can remember when murder last reared its head in sleepy, self-regarding Eastpoint, now suddenly transmogrified into a killing field. It all begins with the shocking demise of local celebrity John Hunter, whose syndicated advice column has long been must reading in Eastpoint and far beyond. A suicide, it’s ruled at first, complete with a farewell note, however murky and irrelevant. But the suicide theory goes out the window when Hank stumbles on Hunter’s cache of lurid oils, featuring the deceased and an astonishing array of the town’s most presentable married females in poses calculated to enrage their husbands. As news of the porn paintings circulates widely—discretion appears not to be one of Hank’s strengths—certain leading citizens become aggressively defensive, insisting that only harm can result from an ongoing investigation. Friends, neighbors and the town’s good name are at risk, and they’ll have Hank’s badge if he doesn’t back off. But as the body count peaks, so does Hank’s determination. Undaunted and unaided, he walks Eastpoint’s mean streets, doing what a lawman’s got to do.
A derivative first novel with few saving graces.