by Peter Abrahams
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061138003
Date: 01 April 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Alvin Dupree, also known as Pirate because of an eyepatch he wears over a missing eye, is getting released from prison after it was determined that he was falsely imprisoned. Nell Jarreau is the wife of Clay Jarreau, the police chief. Her former boyfriend is the man whom Dupree was supposed to have murdered. Clay Jarreau was the detective on the case, the man who brought Dupree to justice, solved the case and got the girl. Except now it appears as if there might be some question about the actual events and how they transpired.
Nell's murdered boyfriend was working on an ecological issue that would have had major impact on a development that was about to be finalized. Now Nell finds herself compelled to find out exactly what happened twenty years ago and who was involved in what. Was her husband somehow involved in a cover up? Was the death of her husband's partner somehow connected to this? What does Alvin Dupree know and will he live to tell it? Nell thought the nightmare of her boyfriends murder was over. Now it seems to have returned. And with a vengeance.
Peter Abrahams takes a single event, lets twenty years pass and then lets his characters wander through the results. Abrahams covers a lot of different material here--memory and how it can change, the actions of people--well meaning and otherwise, justice and redemption, love and the past, and how a single event can shape not just a life but a group of individuals as well as a community. The characters are well thought out and well written and the plot is very well crafted. Abrahams knows how to dole out information at the right time and the right place to keep the plot moving forward and the reader's interest high.
This book is not typically one that I would pick up but I'm trying to expand my reading so I grabbed it. I'm glad I did. I enjoyed the way Abrahams used that singular event to drive the story and how he wove bits and pieces of it into the structure so that it is not until fairly late in the book that the reader has a good understanding of just what happened twenty years ago and why. This book had interesting characters caught up in an interesting story with just the right amount of mystery and suspense mixed in. Recommended.