cover image STILL RIVER: A Lee Henry Oswald Mystery

STILL RIVER: A Lee Henry Oswald Mystery

Harry Hunsicker, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-312-33787-2

An appeal from a high school acquaintance to find her missing brother, whom the unfortunately named Dallas gumshoe, Lee Henry Oswald, protected from bullies decades earlier, leads to a maze of real estate deals somehow involving a violent drug gang. Along the way, Oswald calls on the usual motley assortment of allies, including a fiercely loyal and heavily armed gay couple, one of whom names his new high-powered rifle Miss Clarita. There's also the obligatory source of unresolved sexual tension in the person of attractive Nolan O'Connor, an ex-San Antonio police officer. Despite these formulaic elements, Hunsicker introduces enough fresh notes to make this a solid debut, even if the payoff, with its requisite gun fights, high body count and hostage situation will be familiar to any genre fan. More troubling, perhaps, is the protagonist's name, which will strike many readers as a gimmick that serves chiefly to shock and confuse other characters in the book. Agent, Richard Abate at ICM. (May 31)