A Once Perfect Place: A Jake Eaton Mystery

Larry Maness, Author
Larry Maness, Author Lyford Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89141-567-1
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Boston-based PI Jake Eaton (Nantucket Revenge) and his faithful dog, Watson, travel to rural New Hampshire for their second adventure. Mildreth Gibbon Preston, widow of a Nobel Prize-winning environmentalist, hires Eaton to locate Colin Owens, who vanished while surveying 20,000 acres of mountainous forest land that Preston plans to give to the state. Jake finds local sheriff Myron Sellers shot to death, then learns that Owens and Sellers shared a $400,000 bank account and some nasty secrets. Jake concludes that they knew something about the Preston land. The unexplained money may have come from a waste-disposal tycoon who wants to buy the property, and who himself could be the target of small-time extortionists trying to escape their dreary, jobless town. All these people play rough, and when a mysterious trucker tries to run down Jake, only Watson's quick action saves him. A strong supporting cast and keenly observed New England settings thicken the eerie environmental scenario. As for Watson: his superdog intuition pushes the credibility envelope and his heroics make Lassie look lazy. The book, however, is more like Jake: solid and reliable, if unspectacular. (Oct.)
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