Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Loot the Moon-Mark Arsenault

Loot the Moon
Mark Arsenault
Minotaur, Oct 13 2009, $24.99
ISBN 9780312555764

In Rhode Island at the dog track, attorney Martin Smothers obsessively pleads with his friend former investigative journalist turned obit writer Billy Povich to look into the murder of Judge Gil Harmony. Two bit thief Adam Rackers assassinated the Judge during a car-jacking. Rackers died in the subsequent car crash, which left one survivor in critical condition Stuart Tracy. Smothers wants Povich to uncover who paid for the hit.

Povich begins his inquiry and quickly learns a local mobster threatened the judge and that his honor had a secret life in Manhattan where he kept a mistress who appears at the reading of the will. Menwhile Harmony’s legal clerk Kit Bass is beaten up at a club owned by mobster Glantz. When someone threatens Billy, his son and his father, he takes on the case with renewed vigor.

In many ways this is a noir, but the hard boiled Billy is somewhat softened with family matters especially discussions with his dad over death that seems so timely. The story line is action-packed as Billy gets into all sorts of predicaments and the final twist is superb. The secondary eccentric cast enhances the engaging plot of the investigative GRAVEWRITER who in many ways brings out the best and worst in his support crowd.

Harriet Klausner

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