|P.J. Parrish: Island of Bones|
Pinnacle Books (Paperback), ISBN 0786016051
P.J. Parrish, (a pseudonym for Kristy and Kelly Montee), writes mass-market paperbacks, a medium that may be snubbed by some hardcover lovers. Snubbers lose, for sure, if they miss reading Parrish's writings.
Forced to leave the police department and his true vocation, Louis struggles to find a similar sense of satisfaction working as a private investigator. He can't shake the habit of looking for clues. After surviving his first hurricane, he walks the Florida beach near his temporary home on Sanibel-Captiva with the inevitable crowd of after-storm shell seekers. He doesn't know what he seeks, but when he discovers an infant's skull, he knows he has found what he had been searching for -- a crime to solve. The tiny skull also resurrects painful personal issues.
Shortly after the storm, Louis's old friend, Chief of Police Horton, recruits him to work with a newly hired detective to track down the killers of a young woman. Her body, driven by the hurricane, lay tangled among the mangrove trees fronting an isolated island.
The story heats up when Diane Wood sees the news story about the woman. She hires Louis to investigate her father, a rather ordinary, colorless librarian who she always believed lived an ordinary, colorless life. The discovery in her father's desk of newspaper clippings relating to the murders of a number of young women, including the one found in the mangrove trees, shattered that comfortable illusion and sent her running to a private investigator.
An isolated island holds the key to solving all of the mysteries and crimes, and reinforces the adage that "no man is an island." The individual characters reveal some personal mysteries, which take this mesmerizing tale to yet another level. Following parallel story tangents fraught with amazing twists and turns, the clues diverge into a refreshingly original tale.
Although this book represents my first encounter with P.J. Parrish, I vow it won't be the last. Four books precede this novel, and I plan to savor every one.
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