History and long buried secrets are themes once again and are apparent from the first page. Cory Wilde is back and the small town of Troy, Louisiana seems almost entirely united against him. Of course, if things had gone the way the good people of the small town had expected twenty-nine years ago, he would have already been executed for the brutal rape and murder of a local teenage girl, Alice Ann Potter.

But, he wasn’t. The townsfolk thought he had been sentenced to life in prison and that there was no way he would get out on parole ever. But, he has. And certainly, they never thought he would have the nerve to rub it all in their faces by coming back home. But, he has. His first act is to come back home to Troy and sit on a bench at the town square making sure that everyone can see he is back. Within hours of his arrival as town sentiment begins to slowly simmer he goes to Peter Brady and places an ad announcing his return and exactly where he will be living.

As editor of the small local paper, The Troy Parish Weekly Express, Brady knows that town sentiment is building against Cory Wilde. Buried hate is once again boiling up with few willing to even briefly discuss what happened. While he investigates the case from twenty-nine years ago, Brady begins to doubt not only that Cory Wilde committed any crime but that anyone in the case was free from taint. As his group of suspects keeps expanding and he makes more and more folks angry with his questions, the fuse has been lit and neither Cory Wilde nor Peter Brady may survive.

This novel reminds one of the old westerns where the good sheriff held out against the furious townspeople wanting to lynch his prisoner and it was dicey whether the U. S. Marshalls would arrive in time to take the prisoner away for a fair trial.  That same feeling is prevalent throughout this cozy style novel which is a worthy sequel to the first book, “Killer’s Ink.” Putting suspense heavily throughout the book, the author again illustrates what a lot of authors and publishers seem to forget these days. One doesn’t have to be graphic to build suspense or tell a good story that engages the reader. Those interested in this novel are cautioned that events of the first novel are offered in great detail and frequently throughout the course of this work.

As such, like any good series, it would be best to read in order. Following the same concepts of the first novel, this is a highly atmospheric style cozy novel where the deaths and most violence, past and present day, happen offstage and are not covered in graphic detail. Like the first book, the current deaths begin long after the novel starts so this work does violate all the little “rules” so popular today. If you are looking for a novel that drops a body in the first paragraph, has short chapters, multiple POV’s that rehash every single thing, this is not the novel for you. If you are looking for a complicated book that features real characters, a twisting mystery, and plenty of suspense this is the novel for you.

Death Notice

By M. S. Karl

St. Martin’s Press

1990

Hardback

ISBN# 0-312-03811-9

194 Pages  

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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