Author: William G. Tapply
Publisher: VHPS (HOLT & ST MARTINS), Mar 2007
A routine fishing trip to Maine's Casco Bay with historian Paul Vecchio as client & Stonewall Jackson Calhoun as guide ends prematurely when they stop at Quarantine Island & discover the corpse of a man who'd been tortured, castrated & set on fire. More ambitious & densely plotted than Stoney's heartfelt debut (Bitch Creek, 2004), but with the same unruffled sense of time & place. 6x9 inches, 272 pgs.
Stoney Calhoun hasn't recovered the memories he lost to a lightning strike seven years ago, but he's acting more and more like the cop he suspects he once was.
A routine fishing trip to Maine's Casco Bay with historian Paul Vecchio as client and Stonewall Jackson Calhoun as guide ends prematurely when they stop at Quarantine Island and discover the corpse of a man who'd been tortured, castrated and set on fire. At first, Stoney refuses Sheriff Marshall Dickman's request for help. But he changes his mind after Kate Balaban, his bait-and-tackle partner and lover, tells him she's going to break off their affair, which has gone on under the approving eye of her MS-stricken husband, Walter, and Vecchio is shot to death as he sits outside Stoney's house. Questioning possible witnesses as doggedly as any pair of British coppers, the sheriff and his new deputy establish that Errol Watson, the Quarantine victim, was a convicted child molester who may not have been entirely undeserving of his horrifying fate. The State Police are convinced, reasonably enough, that the person who executed Watson was Franklin Dunbar, the father of his traumatized victim, who had concluded his court testimony by announcing that Watson should lose his masculinity and burn in hell. Stoney thinks differently.
More ambitious and densely plotted than Stoney's heartfelt debut (Bitch Creek, 2004), but with the same unruffled sense of time and place.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
The pleasures of the outdoors lift the second Stoney Calhoun novel (after 2004's Bitch Creek) from Tapply, best known for his many mysteries about Boston lawyer Brady Coyne (Out Cold, etc.). Stoney, who lost his memory when he was struck by lightning years earlier, knows how to tie a gray ghosta fly used for salmonas well as other skills useful to his new life as half-owner of a bait shop in Portland, Maine. Occasionally, hints about his past arrive like muscle twingessurvival skills of the sort learned in law enforcement, reinforced by infrequent visits from "a grayish, nondescript guy from some government agency who'd been sent to keep an eye on him." But Stoney is mostly on his own as he struggles to find out why a burned corpse turns up on a small island, and why the fishing client who was with him when they discovered the body is also killed. Readers will look forward to learning more about Tapply's new character, who with any luck will be around as long as Brady Coyne.