Tuesday, 25 August 2020
TOM PICCIRILLI - THE DEAD PAST (1997)
Welcome to Felicity Grove....
This upstate New York village is as small as it is peaceful. But somehow, Jonathan Kendrick's eccentric grandma, Anna, always manages to find trouble. Crime, scandal, you name it...this wheel-chair-bound senior citizen is involved. So, when the phone rings at four a. m. in Jonathan's New York City apartment, he knows to expect some kind of dilemma. But Anna's outdone herself this time. She's stumbled across a dead body in her trash can.
The first in a two book series featuring Jonathan Kendrick and his grandmother Anna and a bit of amateur sleuthing.
Small New York village setting, a family history and back story featuring alcoholism, murder, life-changing injuries, bereavement, marriage, divorce, betrayal, jail time, a dog, a maybe new romance, football, - and that's without mentioning the body in the dustbin.
I quite liked the two main characters, their bonds and their shared history and their inability to leave things alone when they feel the local police chief isn't working the case properly and has something to hide. The chief's deputy, an old school friend of Jonathan's isn't averse to Kendrick and Anna sticking their nose in and is happy enough discussing the investigation amidst his own concerns about his boss.
Quite a busy book with the backstories woven into the narrative. I enjoyed the small town setting where everyone seems to know everyone else; where some characters have evolved and have seen the wider world and the contrast with others who have never left the town and who hark back to the glory of their school and college days when they were a minor somebody.
The investigation gets complicated when another body appears at the same location with a different murder method.
Enjoyable enough, no real annoyances or irritation while listening to the audio book, neither was I ever overly excited or left breathless by a turn of phrase or a descriptive passage. It just did it's job by holding my interest throughout and providing a plausible outcome to the questions that needed answering.
Author Tom Piccirilli sadly died in 2015. He's left behind a decent body of work in multiple genres - crime, horror, mystery and thriller. I've read him previously, before I started blogging - The Cold Spot and Fuckin' Lie Down Already - and I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
3.5 from 5
Read - (listened to) August, 2020
Published - 1997
Page count - 226 (5 hrs 35 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible