Dog Ear Publishing
Carrying a theme throughout a book, which is pleasant, is difficult when the main story line is about murder and mayhem. Sue Laing was able to do this with admirable skill when she wrote "Beth," the story of a young woman's disappearance that led to a trail of dead bodies who were her ex-husbands. During this murder string, tugging us in a different direction is the main character who wants to go fly-fishing in Colorado!
The mystery takes place in several nearby locales, Kingman and Bullhead City, Arizona; Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada; and Blythe, California. With a working knowledge of each of these areas, Michael Pearce, a recently retired, homicide detective from the
Los Angeles Police Department starts the search for his Kingman resident sister to help find the missing daughter of her friends. Beth has been gone a short while and her parents believe the police made a mistake when they found her car in the Colorado River with one of her dead children inside.
As Michael begins to read a journal given to him by Beth's parents, he too suspects that she is alive. Mattie, his sister, aids him in his quest by introducing him to a private detective she had engaged to locate Beth.
Many twists and turns throughout the desert take the team of Michael and Tim, the detective, back and forth from Las Vegas to Blythe and Kingman. For several days in a row, they discover the bodies of Beth's ex-husbands with their heads blown away by hollow point bullets, which made identification a key issue in their case.
Tim and Mattie strike up a relationship and one evening while they were leaving a restaurant after dinner, Mattie is shot! This time, it is not a fatal injury, but she has to take bed rest in Las Vegas before returning to Kingman. Easily persuaded, the whole entourage of Mattie, Michael, Tim, housekeepers for Mattie and Tim, and a bodyguard all take up residence in Tim's spacious house.
As Mattie recovers, Tim and Michael carry on their investigation of what happened to Beth. They travel to Blythe, interview the parents of one of Beth's ex-husbands, and discover there was no love lost when he died. He was a drug addict and they blamed this on Beth who they felt was a bad person.
One of the outstanding features of this book is the manner in which Sue Laing is able to set the stage for your suspicions. As a reader, you have been thinking all along that the perpetrator is one person and then she pulls the rug from under you. No, it was not that person at all! There are many characters introduced, but their place fits nicely.
Throughout the book, Michael keeps hoping and wishing to be fly-fishing. After a robust conclusion, he finally is in a trout stream and meets with a nice surprise.
This book is highly recommended and is a 5 star performance.
America's Great Railroad Stations
Roger Straus III, with Ed Breslin, Hugh Van Dusen
A member of Penguin Group
Traveling in the bygone era of railroads was a luxury for many. There are 250 full color...