Saturday, November 27, 2010

She Felt No Pain-Lou Allin

She Felt No Pain
Lou Allin
Rendezvous Crime (Napoleon & Company), Sep 25 2010, $16.95
ISBN: 9781926607078

In the summer near Fossil Bay on Vancouver Island, the corpse of a homeless person is found. Although family lives here as this was once her home, RCMP Corporal Holly Martin is relatively new to the small police detachment. Holly leads the inquiry into the death. She and Constable Chipper Knox Singh find drug paraphernalia near the body; later the autopsy confirms a drug overdose of heroin and a synthetic opiate.

The deceased possesses a warn wallet with an aging photograph and sever hundreds of dollars; strange articles for a seemingly homeless person. The two cops interview other drifters who insist he came to the vacation oasis to see his former girlfriend. They learn he is former convict Joel Clavir, whose sister recently won the lottery. As Holly begins to put together the puzzle of Joel, she believes someone sought something of value from the victim, which the cop finds near where they found the body is. As she struggles to solve what she now thinks is a homicide, her father is hurt while her fiftyish Aunt Madeline encourages her to investigate her mom’s disappearance years ago.

The latest Martin RCMP Canadian police procedural (see And on the Surface Die, for her first case) is an engaging whodunit that contrasts murder with the beauty of Vancouver Island. That comparisons of nature’s stark beauty to humanity’s avaricious homicidal tendencies makes for a strong whodunit as Holly investigates the murder and her own heritage with every step she takes enhanced by the setting she traverses.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: