An Unattended Death

Victoria Jenkins. Permanent, $28 (214p) ISBN 978-1-57962-284-8
Clean prose and impeccable pacing distinguish this regional crime novel from Jenkins (Cruise Control). After a stint in the LAPD, widowed Irene Chavez has returned with her 14-year-old son to her hometown on Puget Sound, where she now serves as a detective in the Mason County (Wash.) sheriff’s department. Irene is the first official on the scene after the discovery of the body of 29-year-old psychiatrist Anne Paris in a slough off the sound, the apparent victim of a sailboat accident. Irene, a logger’s daughter, struggles to overcome her lifetime prejudice and unease with the “haves” as she talks to the members of the Paris family, summer residents on Harstine Island. Secret affairs, the vagaries of tides, and queasy step-sibling relationships all figure in what turns into a murder investigation. The assured story-telling more than compensates for a few loose ends (e.g., the provenance of a suspicious bottle of wine). (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 01/01/2012
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