A Welcome Grave
by Michael Koryta
Review by Lynne LeGrow
St. Martin's Minotaur Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312340117
Date: 26 June 2007 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Who do you hire when the cops wrongly suspect you of a double murder? Why yourself of course! In this third outing for Lincoln Perry, the ex-cop turned private investigator is working his own case. His partner Joe is off on medical leave so it appears Lincoln is on his own in trying to prove his innocence.
Lincoln's peaceful life is disrupted when he learns of the torture death of his former fiancée's husband. The police pay him a visit because of his 'history' with the deceased. Five years ago he was involved in a nasty fight with the wealthy attorney over his then girlfriend, Karen. This incident led to his leaving the Cleveland P.D. Karen phones him to apologize for the police visit and asks him to visit her. She then persuades him to work for her in finding her stepson so that he may be informed of his father's death and the multi-million dollar inheritance that is coming his way.
Lincoln follows leads and ends up in Indiana where he finds the son. Before he can give him a message however, the son commits suicide! Indiana police are suspicious because Lincoln was the only witness to this event.
Back home again, Lincoln's life takes a turn for the worse. He gets viciously attacked, the police have more and more evidence that seems to prove his guilt and his gym gets shot up. Even he can understand why he looks like the likely suspect. The police think that he and Karen have plotted the two murders in order to secure the vast multi-million dollar estate. What better motive could there be?
When his new girlfriend Amy is abducted he desperately approaches Joe for help. Together they attempt to stop the nightmarish events and clear Lincoln's name. Along the way they encounter the Russian mafia, a cover-up conspiracy, and an escaped ex-convict with an agenda of his own.
A real page-turner with writing that reminds the reader of Dennis Lehane, and a protagonist that seems like he could have jumped from the pages of a Dick Francis thriller, this suspense novel will appeal to many. The dialogue flows smoothly, with sharp sarcastic wit thrown in to spice things up. The action is non-stop with a protagonist that you can't help but admire.
I haven't yet read the first two Lincoln Perry novels, but plan to at my earliest convenience. However, that being said this title reads well as a 'stand-alone'. Michael Koryta's first novel was an Edgar Award nominee. A Welcome Grave also shows the qualities of a winner.