Paradise Interrupted

Penny Mickelbury, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-684-85991-0
The protagonist in this fourth book in Mickelbury's series of atmospheric mysteries (The Step Between, etc.) is Carole Ann Gibson, an African-American criminal defense attorney and half-owner of Gibson, Graham International, a flourishing private security company in Washington, D.C. Carole Ann and her partner in the firm, Jake Graham, a hard-boiled former homicide cop, work well together, although they spend a lot of time arguing good-naturedly over their different approaches to criminal justice. One of their new clients, the president of the Caribbean island of Isle de Paix, hires them to set up the infrastructure and security arrangements needed if the island is to attract tourists after the sudden and mysterious departure of a long-term Communist dictator. Just before Carole Ann leaves to oversee work on the island, a judge that she knows is killed in D.C., and an accused drug dealer, Denis St. Almain, is suspected of the murder. When she arrives on Isle de Paix, Carole Ann is horrified to discover that violence--and St. Almain himself--are present on the beautiful, unspoiled island as well. An employee on a road-building project she's supervising is killed and the heavy equipment torched. In order to do her job, Carole Ann must discover who is wreaking havoc in this island paradise. Unfortunately, this mediocre mystery doesn't stray far from the obvious, and the conventional characters, depicted in unlikely situations, make for uninspiring reading. The author provides little suspense, but she does create an attractive Caribbean setting. Agent, Charlotte Sheedy. (Feb. )
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
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