Monday, July 16, 2007

"A Welcome Grave" by Michael Kortya is a great read

This latest novel featuring P. I. Lincoln Perry is the third book in the series which began with "Tonight I said Goodbye." Some may advocate this novel could be read as a stand alone. I would totally disagree. It would be well worth your time to start in the beginning and work your way forward.

A Welcome Grave
By Michael Kortya
Thomas Dunne Books
July 2007
ISBN # 978-0-312-34011-7
294 Pages

This latest read in the series is another noirish style read with Lincoln Perry dealing with his own past during a current case. Alex Jefferson was tortured and killed in a field near Bedford, south of Cleveland. With no suspects immediately apparent in the field standing over the body or running away from it, Detectives start looking into folks who knew Jefferson and might have held a grudge. People like Lincoln Perry.

Lincoln's grudge as the Detectives see it, would go back a few years ago when Lincoln was engaged to Karen who ended up working in Alex Jefferson's law firm. The boss started noticing her and gradually his efforts at seduction paid off. Lincoln found out they were sleeping together and after consuming a twelve pack of beer, went to Jefferson's country club and beat the living tar out of him. Lincoln left the man alive and was later stopped for drunk driving and eventually charged with assault. Jefferson recovered and married Karen and everyone went on with their lives. Despite keeping mementos from their relationship in a small box, Lincoln doesn't think about what happened much anymore.

That is until now when a few days later Karen calls wanting his help. While sitting in a leather chair in her mansion, Karen tells him that she wants to find Alex's son. The son, Matthew Jefferson, is due to inherit eight million dollars and no one knows where he is. Karen says she wants someone she can trust to find him and tell Matthew what has happened and for that, she is willing to pay Lincoln one percent or eighty thousand dollars. The amount is far in excess what should be paid which does bother Lincoln.

Still eight thousand dollars for a couple of days work would come in very handy right now. Cases haven't been coming in lately. The business is barely afloat and then there is the whole deal with Joe's medical expenses and rehabilitation after he was shot. Guilt is a powerful motivator and Lincoln feels plenty of it so he agrees.

Something that he will soon regret in a case that quickly becomes personal with his very life at stake. Author Michael Kortya once again pulls readers deep into the cynical world of Lincoln Perry in an intense mystery. Part hardboiled and part noir, the read is compelling and intense as it dwells in the shady land in between where Lincoln is at the brink.

While the novel continues character development especially in regards to Lincoln and seems to foreshadow a massive change in his relationship with Joe, it also works heavily with various items from previous novels. As such it is not only hard to discuss the book in great detail, it also strongly behooves those interested in reading the book to start from the beginning with "Tonight I Said Goodbye." In doing so, readers will be introduced to a majority of the characters in Lincoln's world as well as to plot threads that are dealt with in this intense novel by the Edgar nominated author.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

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