Love triangle—motive for double murder? First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy "Pancake" Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love, Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope, Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. When Emily doesn't appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake's radar goes on high alert. Her body, along with that of Jason - one of two guys she has been dating - is found murdered, execution-style, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray.
Who would have done this? Could it be the soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi; the other guy Emily was seeing - jealousy being a motive for harm; or do the drugs found in Jason's pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed.
Perfect for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich
Fourth in a five long series, all of which I caned during January. Enjoyable, but if I'm honest it's probably the one I liked the least in the series.
Same likable characters; same Gulf Coast, Alabama setting; same banter, humour and dynamics between Jake and girlfriend Nicole, Ray, his dad and Pancake his best friend. I guess it was the story that just didn't quite catch fire for me.
A dead couple, drugs on the body and one of the corpses belongs to Pancake's childhood sweetheart Emily. Pancake is understandably upset and persuades Ray the head of Longly investigations to dig into things, in conjunction and cooperation with the local law.
Emily's soon to be ex-husband - now a widower - and her new boyfriend's background need investigating, as does the jilted beau who perhaps had more regard for a future with Emily than she obviously did.
Drugs, family, marital strife, murder, investigation, criminal gangs, inheritance, loss, memories, small town life, suspects, motives and after 300 pages answers.
I didn't dislike it. I enjoyed it more than not, it's just I've enjoyed Lyle's other books more. As for comparisons, I've only tried a couple of Janet Evanovich's work with, those co-authored by Lee Goldberg, and Carl Hiaasen is a much ignored favourite author. I prefer Hiaasen so far, but Lyle's not too far behind.
Deep Six, A-List and Sunshine State are the first three in the series. The OC is the fifth and final series entry.
Read - January, 2022
Published - 2020
Page count - 306
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle