Notches: A Gabriel Du Pre Mystery

Peter Bowen, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-15181-2
Bowen builds this absorbing tale of vengeance, his fourth Montana-based Gabriel Du Pre mystery, around long-unsolved, continuing serial killings. As in Specimen Song (1995) and Wolf, No Wolf (1996), Bowen excels at depicting the liminal, shifting worlds his characters inhabit. Droll and shrewd, the fiddle-playing Du Pre, who is a Metis (``Whites call us Indian. Indians call us white. Catch shit, everywhere''), discovers the latest bodies of young women murdered and left in the sagebrush in a remote area near his town of Toussaint. Harvey Wallace (who is both Blackfeet and FBI) enlists Du Pre's help to catch two men who, over many years, have murdered girls in remote areas of the U.S. and Canada. Pistol-packin' psychologist Special Agent Pigeon, a tough lady who is a particular treat, educates Du Pre on the finer points of serial-killer behavior. Nevertheless, relations between Du Pre and the FBI are tinged with suspicion and secrecy on both sides. Also volunteering for the hunt is genial, long-distance trucker (and, agent Wallace suspects, ex-bank robber) Rolly Challis, who says his sister is among the victims. With one murderer identifiable on first sight and another eliminated with barely an introduction, this tale may not suit earnest puzzle fans. But those who think there is more mystery to life than whodunit will deeply relish this bit of time with Du Pre, his fierce Madelaine and other local chums. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
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