As happened in Live Bait, Police Chief Reid Bennett and his police dog, Sam, are not in Murphy’s Harbour. Instead they are over in Olympia where the biggest gold strike ever is drawing people from everywhere. That includes a certain geologist who was recently found dead.

Jim Prudhomme is the dead man. Apparently, he was attacked and killed by a bear while Mr. Prudhomme was out doing survey work in an isolated area. Killed by the bear who then gnawed on his hands and head making things a mess and very hard to identify, he was identified by his clothing more than anything.

 

His wife is a friend of Bennett’s ex-wife, so Bennett came to Olympia on her request to check and see if things are really the way she has been told. A review of the case file complied by the local police chief leaves some questions unanswered. Like why he had no rock samples with him? He had been out there awhile in the hours preceding the suspected time of the attack and yet there were no geology core samples found with the body or at the camp site.  That fact also means that it would be interesting to know about what his helicopter pilot knew about what Mr. Prudhomme was doing in the days and hours before the bear attack. What a local guide who also worked with Prudhomme knew would be helpful as well. Still, it isn’t much to go on and Reid Bennett does not see anything that really strikes him as an obvious indicator that anything happened differently than what is described in the police report.

All in all, while not everything has been tied up neatly, most things are and Bennett and Sam should be headed back home to Murphy’s Harbour. The fact that there hadn’t been a bear mauling in over 30 years probably does not mean anything either. And yet, Reid Bennett soon believes that things just don’t seem right.

 

Fourth in the series that started with Dead In The Water, Fool’s Gold is another action oriented mystery read. Some additional backstory on Reid Bennett is dispensed to readers as are several reminders of earlier events in this highly entertaining series. That is not the main focus of the book and takes up very little space or time. Much of the book is focused on the mystery of what happened to Mr. Prudhomme and how it relates, if it does, to the ongoing nefarious actions of many of the characters in this complicated tale.

 

Fool’s Gold is a good one and is strongly recommended as are the previous installments in this engrossing series.

 

Fool’s Gold

Ted Wood

Charles Scribner’s Sons

1986

ISBN# 0-684-18568-7

Hardback (also available in paperback and digital formats)

233 Pages

 

 

 

Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Public Library.

 

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

 

 

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