Monday, October 23, 2017

Carl Brookins Presents Grand Lac

The two main characters are a delightful personal and professional duo...old enough to have much experience, but also old enough to be experiencing some of the aches and pains of age... especially on this trip which takes us up in the mountains of northern Idaho... Here's a brief sketch provided early in the book... 

The airport operates during daylight hours and the train arrives from east or west around midnight, assuming it's on schedule. Apart from the resorts, logging and a little mining, ranching and associated business activities keep folks busy and mostly out of trouble. There are a number of retirement establishments as well. Once Kane an Lockem arrived, they noticed that their age cohort fit in pretty well.
There are advantages to being members of the younger geriatric set. Retirees are often considered harmless, having lost their edge, and most of their influence, if they ever had any, and are likely to be targeted as victims. Fit as they are, governments and many people tend to ignore or dismiss them. But as Marjorie Kane once remarked, "We develop magical powers, because we become invisible." It's a mistake many people make.
In the case of Lockem and Kane, truth was a whole different circumstance. True, they looked aged. Well preserved, perhaps, but older. Lockem sometimes smiled at the idea. If you could see those tanned and toned long legs my companion wears when she dances, he mused or practices her Tai quou do, or wraps them around my waist in the shower, you'd change your mind. As for Lockem, long years of many jobs plus some specialized training helped him keep his edge. He was, Lockem might say immediately, still quick on his feet...
~~~

Grand Lac
By Carl Brookins

It doesn't take long for the action to begin once Alan Lockem and this partner, Marjorie Kane, reach Grand Lac, Idaho. They had been asked to come and help Marjorie's cousin Edie, whose son had been arrested for murder. Neither Lockem or Kane are officially licensed as PI's...they've built a reputation from what they've been doing to help people, and the word has spread... In Idaho, they were readily accepted as part of the defense team for Samuel Black, who had been accused of shooting Jack Ketchum, a rancher in the area...


Let me say upfront that the book description in no way illustrates the complex investigation that will be tackled within the book... Yes, it is correct that Jack Ketchum had gone on what you might call a rampage when he finally got around to wanting to use property he had purchased on one mountain within the Rocky Mountain Range...

Other buyers on the mountain had formed a home owners' group and had worked together to lay out plots. roads, and made decisions about tree retention and the views of each owner. Ketchum had been invited to be a member and when he didn't come, they had always sent him minutes showing what was going on... Edie and Sam, Marjorie's relatives owned one of the homes...


Then when Ketchum was ready to build on his property, he built his own road...through property that belonged to other people! He was murdered soon afterward...


Ketchum, being a sort of bluff, abrupt, independent cuss, did what a lot of people like that do. He acted first, apparently planning to say he was sorry later, if anybody objected. In the dark of the night the previous year he'd driven across two adjoining properties he didn't own with trucks hauling earth moving equipment which he proceeded to unload. Then, about three in the morning, according to police reports Alan had already seen, he took the controls of his biggest dozer and bladed a twelve-foot-wide swath through the underbrush, whacking off a couple of medium sized trees in the bargain. Now he had a crude road, access of a sort, to his property. But it ran across other people's properties...
~~~

Readers will discover as the investigation proceeds that there are things happening in Grand Lac that are beyond the charge of murder against Sam. Marjorie and Alan was there to ensure Sam was freed, but they quickly realized that to do it, they would more than likely have to identify the real killer! With that, I enthusiastically watched these two individuals begin to work...Marjorie did a lot of research while Alan met and talked to many of the locals... 
While investigating the members of the owners' association, more comes out than was needed, LOL, especially involving the hot tubs available, but this type of social interaction provided light humorous breaks at times, creating a more enjoyable setting...

And that was especially important when the true criminals realized that Lockem and Kane were discovering quite a lot...and murder attempts began, especially on Lockem!

Brookins keeps readers in the dark throughout the action, providing few, if any clues, of what was really happening. The suspense proves to be high while the detail of the storyline gets more involved and dangerous as the story goes along. I was hooked from the beginning through to the ending... In addition to the main characters, I was also impressed with Sheriff Carter who proved to be an exceptional cop, sure of himself, and grateful for assistance offered...

Now Lockem and Kane were ready to be grateful everything was over...but they decided to stay awhile in Idaho... The beauty of the mountains deserved more than just brief excursions up and down Baldy Mountain... I enjoyed the trip and highly recommend you check out this dynamic duo!  Hope we get to meet these two in upcoming books!





GABixlerReviews



Retired from a local university, I've entered a new career as a reviewer and author. The Michael Tanner/Mary Whitney sailing adventure series (INNER PASSAGES, A SUPERIOR MYSTERY, OLD SILVER) are my initial foray. 

Now I'm branching out with a new series featuring a Twin Cities detective named Sean NMI Sean. His first story is THE CASE OF THE GREEDY LAWYERS. I live and work in Minnesota and travel with that nefarious band of authors called the Minnesota Crime Wave. Sean's current case is THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PAINTING, having to do with WWII souvenir retrieval. Grand Lac is just out!