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A GARDEN OF VIPERS
by Jack Kerley
Dutton, June 2006
352 pages
$24.95
ISBN: 0525949526


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus, Mobile police detectives, race to the scene of a crime. They are hurrying not just because it's their job, but they want to beat out another patrol car also rushing to the scene. In that car is a soon to be retired cop who just doesn't care anymore. Lucky Carson and Harry -- they get to the scene and view the mutilated body of a young woman in her car. And it's their case.

The murdered young woman, Taneesha Franklin, was an up-and-coming radio news reporter. She was an acquaintance of Danielle Danbury, Carson's girlfriend who just happens to be a star investigative reporter on a Mobile TV station. The killing appears to be a robbery gone wrong.

Both Carson and Dani work long hours without much time for each other. However, he promises to go to a formal dinner given by the TV station to honor the owners of the station and to introduce their new anchorperson -- none other than Dani. Carson gets his first glimpse of the Kincannon family; not to be his last; and not to be pleasant. This is a family with money and influence and not much moral fiber.

We first met Carson and Harry in THE HUNDREDTH MAN. The two detectives from Mobile are not your average police officers. Carson has overcome a very traumatic childhood and lives with the sorrow of having a brother in a mental institution. Perhaps this helps Carson occasionally to look at a crime from the criminal's point of view. The two men's differences complement each other and make them a pair to be reckoned with.

This, like the other two books in the series, is a fast-paced rollercoaster ride. The plotting is tight, the characters are well defined (even the crazy ones), but especially one elusive person who is not quite what he seems to be. And the family of villains is highly original. The author has definitely gotten everything right.

Jack Kerley is a former advertising writer who has spent much time in the area around Mobile Bay, where the books' action takes place. He knew instinctively that it was a great area in which to set a story.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, July 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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