cover image Feeding Frenzy

Feeding Frenzy

Paul Kemprecos. Doubleday Books, $17 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-385-42486-8

Tourist season is in full flush at Cape Cod's Quanset Beach when a swimmer is badly mauled and dies from his injuries. Aristotle ``Soc'' Socarides, a commercial fisherman and PI, helps pull the victim from the water and is baffled by the wounds that look only somewhat like shark bites. The town selectmen nervously vote to keep the beach open--until bloated corpses start washing up on shore. While Soc speculates on this sudden rise in the death rate, Tillie Talbot asks him to find out whether the official scrutiny her summer camp has recently come under--from locals checking for sanitary code infractions to feds hunting illegal aliens--is linked to a real estate agent's interest in the valuable beachfront property. Next, John Flagg, an old friend and ``spook'' at an obscure government agency, hires Soc to do a bit of diving on the quiet. Likable Soc even finds time to help straighten out his young cousin Alex, who has fallen in with a bad crowd. Leaping nimbly from mystery to mystery, the overachieving Soc may strain credibility (anyone as clever as he is should take a day off from fishing and sort out the national debt), but his good nature makes him pleasant company nevertheless. (Oct.)