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by Michael Koryta
St Martin's Minotaur, June 2007
304 pages
ISBN: 0312340117

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Lincoln Perry agrees to do a favor for his former fiancťe. Karen married an older, wealthier man, Alex Jefferson. Lincoln Perry didnít take it well at the time, but he thinks heís pretty much over it. Heís young, and he isnít really over it quite yet. Then Alex is brutally murdered and Lincoln is a suspect, at least for a little while.

In spite of this, he agrees to hunt down Alexís son Matthew, Karenís stepson, and let him know about the inheritance. When he finds Matthew, Matthew blows his head off in front of Lincoln. As one might imagine, the police find this sequence of events interesting and suspicious.

Lincoln is warned off the case by more than one person. Of course he pays no attention. Then many bad things happen, most of which result in Lincoln looking more and more like a suspect to all of the police involved. His partner Joe is not much help, at least at first, as he is concentrating on the physical therapy necessary after being shot in the shoulder in the process of saving Lincolnís life. Lincoln needs Joe on his side, both for his professional skills and his ability to look at the big picture; this is not a skill Lincoln has in abundance.

As the violence and set-ups escalate, Lincoln finds his friend Amy has become a possible target. This only makes him more convinced that he has to solve things. Their friendship moves from platonic to amorous in A WELCOME GRAVE, so his buttons are even more easily pushed than usual. Lincoln also reluctantly has to admit that Thor, a stone killer out of his past, is somehow involved in everything going on. When Amy is kidnapped, he has to tap this resource, not a welcome option.

Koryta continues to grow as a writer in this, his third in the Lincoln Perry series. While Lincoln doesnít always make the most rational or best choices, the choices he makes are consistent with the character as we know him so far. He does grow and learn from his mistakes. One wishes heíd think things through a little more before chasing after this lead or that, and then one remembers that he is not in his 40s, and a lot of this is just him growing up. Korytaís getting better at plotting, as well. Heís got a great career ahead of him, and readers can only be delighted about that.

Reviewed by P. J. Coldren, April 2007

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