The Body in Blackwater Bay

Paula Gosling, Author Mysterious Press $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-89296-459-8
Gosling ( Death Penalties ) sets up a subtle variation on a locked-room mystery on tiny Paradise Island in the Great Lakes, as Midwest detective Jack Stryker puzzles with an array of subplots and suggestions of psychological menace lurking in the backwoods (or, here, backwaters). On remote Paradise, the cottages are generally handed down among the island's original families; a narrow bridge keeps out most of the rest of the world, while the pungent, boglike Mush nearby turns away developers. Stryker, recovering from a gunshot wound, is there with his girlfriend; Daria Gray, an artist, has returned from New York to escape her psychotic husband, who, she says, is hunting her. Meanwhile, a mysterious bid is made for the Mush and the secretive Wilberforces move in, building fences and hiring security men and guard dogs. Fluidly cutting from one plot to another, Gosling adeptly juggles business intrigue, small-town gossip and psychological trickery. Stryker remains a genuine, low-key pleasure and the islanders represent a beguiling cross-section of society. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-40319-1
Hardcover - 449 pages - 978-1-56054-570-5
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