Blood Tells: A Thriller

Ray Saunders, Author, Raymond M. Saunders, Author
Ray Saunders, Author, Raymond M. Saunders, Author Presidio Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89141-588-6
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It would be too bad if potential readers of this solidly plotted procedural are put off by the obvious echoes of Jaws--specifically, a North Carolina mayor who thinks that a series of brutal deaths is bad for tourism in his beautiful seaside community on the Outer Banks. Saunders (author of the turn-of-the-century Fenwick Travers adventures) knows how to tell an engrossing tale all his own, here pitting police lieutenant Devon Walker, a tough, smart newcomer to the Outer Banks from Jersey City, N.J., against the mayor and other panicky local power-brokers who want instant arrests. Walker resists the pressure and connects the brutal murder of the vacationing Walcott family with that of another family killed near Pittsburgh. From this tenuous connection, the cool lieutenant pieces together a case that ends up establishing a link between a wild, feral child, a sadistic doctor (with the penny-dreadful name of Severus Triskelion) and the notorious long-ago pirate Blackbeard. Saunders constructs his story patiently and economically. When a hurricane approaches or when Walker reminisces about his days as a Vietnam tunnel rat, you can bet that both elements will show up later. While there's not much detail to the main characters, there are enough secrets surrounding the killings to keep them busy and the reader engrossed. (Oct.)
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