The Long Count: A John Q Mystery

J.M. Gulvin. Faber & Faber (PGW, dist.), $22 (288p) ISBN 978-0-571-33774-3
Set in 1967, Gulvin’s tightly plotted first mystery, a series launch, introduces Texas Ranger John Quarrie, a man of few words. During the investigation of a brutal beating of a cop, Quarrie visits the rural home of Ike Bowen. Bowen is dead, hunched over his desk, a gun in his hand. Judging by the powder burns on his face, Quarrie decides it’s a homicide made to look like a suicide. Bowen’s son Isaac, who just returned from Vietnam, insists that his father would never have killed himself. Meanwhile, a killer is on the move, and the victims lead Quarrie to Trinity Hospital, an asylum for the criminally insane, which has just burned down. Isaac’s twin brother, Ishmael, was committed there and is one of those missing after the fire. Ishmael’s doctor is hiding something, and answers may lie in the remains of Trinity. Gulvin’s narrative has a distinctly cinematic feel, and his setting—the windswept plains and desolate highways of Texas—lends an eeriness that lingers throughout. The final twist is a doozy, and the devil is in the story’s cleverly seeded details. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-571-32378-4
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-0-571-32380-7
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