BONE ISLAND MAMBO: An Alex Rutledge Mystery

Tom Corcoran, Author BONE ISLAND MAMBO: An Alex Rutledge Mystery

Key West crime scene photographer Alex Rutledge (The Mango Opera; Gumbo Limbo) returns for his third fast-paced adventure. Someone is recreating a number of bizarre murders—dressing victims in drag, making off with heads—and our hero is tapped as a main suspect. In clearing his name, Rutledge leads a fine tour of the area, from the Green Parrot bar to fishing flats in the mangrove forests. The best aspect of this novel is summed up in the line, "Key West used to be a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem." Corcoran captures this local atmosphere extremely well—he clearly knows the turf (his photographs have appeared on several recordings by Key West mainstay Jimmy Buffett). But the style he uses to make this novel exciting invests every action with the same weight, from opening a beer ("I took the bottle, twisted the cap, spun it into the trash") to Rutledge being chased in his Shelby Mustang by gun-wielding assassins. Corcoran often seems almost postmodern, sitting outside his narrative and noting, "Instead—for want of an action word—they had messed with us." Or, regarding the convoluted and not very believable solution to the mystery: " 'You missed your calling,' I said. 'All these cable networks are looking for script writers.' " Sure to please fans of the series and folks who enjoy lightweight Florida crime novels. (May 21)

Reviewed on: 04/09/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Mass Market Paperbound - 341 pages - 978-0-312-98008-5
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