Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cold Florida by Phillip DePoy

First Sentence:  It was two in the morning, the middle of February.
      
Foggy Moskowitz left Brooklyn rather abruptly, and arrived in Florida working for Child Protective Services.  His boss, Sharon, lands him with a case of a missing infant and an addict mother.  Their trail leads him to the Florida swampland, Seminole Indians, and some unexpected and unusual adventures--all while trying to rescue the baby, and avoid being killed in the process.
      
We begin with a very good introduction and back story on Foggy, as well as introducing us to the situation.  It’s nice to have a protagonist with a somewhat different profession; in this case, an investigator is CPS.  But how he got there is also very interesting as it's due to a personal Yom Kipper—the tenth day of Tishri; atonement and repentance.  Foggy is a bit of a paradox.  He can clearly handle himself in threatening situations, yet being a Brooklyn boy very much out of his element, he can also be naïve. 
      
All of the characters are unique and intriguing.  While some are not people you’d necessarily want to meet, DePoy makes them real, and often someone about whom you’d like to know more.  The Seminoles, Phillip, Foggy’s boss, Sharon, and even a killer named McReedy are very much part of the tapestry of the story. 
      
The story itself is classic DePoy.  There’s a touch of mysticism; or isn’t there.  He creates circles in circles.  Even when the story seems to wander as does a trail through a swamp, one wants to keep following it.  Even when he becomes repetitive, the characters acknowledge that one has already been told the information. 
      
DePoy as a wonderful, story-teller’s voice—“Behind the bar was a guy called Fat Tuesday.  He was called that because he came from New Orleans and his name was Martin Craw, but he went by Marty, so that his name sounded like Mardi Gras, which anyone would know was the French way of saying ‘Fat Tuesday.  Foggy’s musings often give one pause—“then it occurred to me that a place can hold on to the things that happen in it.  Not exactly like a haunted house, more like an echo.  Just because you can’t hear the echo any more doesn’t mean that the molecules of every sob or sigh or wince of pain don’t hang around…”--, and there’s nothing quite like a good analogy—“In the light of the afternoon, it did not look so good.  Some things – old buildings, semi-romantic landscapes, certain faces – are always best left to moonlight.  The old joint looked very much like a tired hooker asleep on a park bench in the warm afternoon sun.”
      
Cold Florida” is a wonderful mix of action, philosophy, just the rights about of violence, thoroughly intriguing characters, and a motive, when realized, that makes perfect sense. 

COLD FLORIDA (Lic Inv-Foggy Moskowitz-Florida-Contemp) - G+
DePoy Phillip – 1st in series
Severn House, April 2016 

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