The way back machine has spun to a stop and kicked out anotehr older review of mine. Terry orr is a very good author and if you haven’t read him yet you really should. His first in the series was “Closing Time” with this book being the second novel.

Picking up two years after events depicted in “Closing Time” very little has changed for Terry Orr. He still misses his wife and young son and he still isn’t writing. He is still doing some private investigator work in the hopes of learning the skills necessary to take down the madman responsible for the pain he and Bella feel.

When his housekeeper asks him to talk to a friend of hers in need, the least he can do is talk to her. The friend’s name is Dorotea Salgado and she wants her daughter Sonia Salgado found. One wouldn’t think it would be too hard to find her since Sonia only recently got out of prison after serving a thirty-year prison sentence for the murder of a diamond merchant in the course of a robbery. The murder was particularly brutal and Terry wonders from the beginning how a physically small high school student could have done it. He wonders that and a lot more when he finds Sonia dead days later. The case quickly becomes something he can’t give up and before long this obsession, like his others, puts him crosswise with everyone around him.

This second novel of the series does not suffer the usual fatal flaws most second novels do. The writing remains top notch as the author continues to expand Orr’s world and further nuance the cast of recurring characters. Bella continues to appear smarter than her years to the reader and yet, at other times, there is an endearing child like quality to her known by many parents of the young teenager set. Also realistic is Terry’s continuing pain over the loss of his wife and young child as well as his first real tentative steps in returning to the world around him instead of just living day to day. Overriding everything is another complicated and well done mystery where almost everyone has a hidden agenda quite possible worth killing for.

A Well-Known Secret

By Jim Fusilli

G. P. Putnam’s Sons


ISBN # 0-399-14931-7


274 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2005, 2008

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