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by Philip R. Caig
Scribner, June 2003
ISBN: 0743205243

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

John and Mattie Skye and JW and Zee Jackson are having lunch one March day, at a Martha's Vineyard deli , discussing the state of things on the island. The current angst is caused by a developer attempting to buy up many of the old homes in order to raze them and build ticky tacky cottages. Aging residents are at the greatest risk from the tactics of the agents of Saberfox, owned by Donald Fox.

As the 4 friends eat and gossip, first John Reilley, local itinerant carpenter comes in for a coffee and a sandwich, then a group of three strangers, identified as Donald Fox, his brother Paul, and Brad Hillborough, Donald's closest confidante. No one notices when Reilley leaves, but of course everyone is watching the strangers, and note that shortly after the Fox group leaves, 2 shots are heard.

Jeff, a 30-something retired New York policeman, who now earns his living fishing, and who takes care of the kids while his wife works as a nurse at the local hospital, runs outside to see Paul Fox lying on the ground. Fox was wearing a kevlar vest, so he is badly bruised but not dead. He is rushed to the hospital, and shortly thereafter, JW receives a summons from the Donald to meet him at Paul's bedside. JW turns down a job as bodyguard and, with the tacit approval of the local policeman, Dom Agganis, keeps looking into who may have shot Fox. When a Saberfox agent turns up dead in the parking lot of the locals bar, things heat up a bit.

This is a very fast read. It has the feel of a pair of comfy bunny slippers. Even though it's the latest entry in a long series, it does stand alone. My biggest quibble with the book is the recipes at the end. JW's recipe for Portuguese kale soup calls for Kielbasa (Polish) sausage. He should use chorizo or linguica, Portuguese sausage. After all, one doesn't use kosher salami in an antipasto.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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