Spark: A Fred Carver Mystery

John Lutz, Author Henry Holt & Company $19.95 (243p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1993-3
Noir is a fitting descriptive for Edgar-winning Lutz's latest Fred Carver mystery (after Hot ), even though the middle-aged PI with a bum knee plies his trade on the sun-drenched west coast of Florida. After retiree Jerome Evans dies unexpectedly, apparently from a heart attack, his flinty widow, Hattie, receives a note suggesting that her husband was murdered, and hires Carver to investigate. While poking around the total-care retirement village of Solartown, Carver learns that Hattie's next-door neighbor is smitten with her, that the deceased had been fooling around with the widow Crane and that Jerome's coronary was verified by the village's medical center. After finding Maude Crane's body, apparently a suicide, the PI is warned off the case with a vicious beating from a steroid-using, alcoholic sadist named Adam Beed. Wary but undeterred, Carver uncovers connections that link Beed, the medical center and a drug company, grasping the details of their chilling experiment only when he and Hattie are in Beed's nasty clutches. Although the ending is a bit abrupt, the story is highly satisfying, powered mainly by the bleak, consistent outlook of its hero, who observes that if he changed his occupation, ``he'd miss the job but not the people.'' (Jan. )
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Ebook - 243 pages - 978-1-4532-1895-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1965-1
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