A thinking man’s detective takes on a cold case.
John Darvelle is physically and mentally tough. He’s also willing to make moral judgments, as when he covers up for a woman who stole a ring from her nasty employer just to teach her a lesson. His next case is more difficult. Homicide detective Mike Ott has recommended him to a wealthy family whose son’s murder remains unsolved. Keaton Fuller walked out of his Hollywood home and was shot dead in his driveway. Keaton was a despicable person—even his parents loathed him—but the people who had the most obvious motives to kill him all have airtight alibis. Keaton was good-looking and could be charming, but he ruined his relationships with everyone in his life, from the mother he punched to the brother whose pet he shot. Keaton was also involved in several business deals that went sour, and his relationships with women included date rape and a long string of castoff girlfriends. Doggedly interviewing all the people who hated Keaton, Darvelle (The Detective and the Pipe Girl, 2014) unearths a single clue: Keaton’s brief involvement in a high-end tropical fish business that remains a mystery. Posing as an interested buyer, Darvelle visits Prestige Fish and gets a very bad vibe from owner Lee Graves. He continues to look into the fish, aware that if he’s not very clever, he may end up sleeping with them.
An exciting, well-written detective noir whose final twist raises it far above the ordinary.