Sunday, January 22, 2017

Storm Cell by Brendan DuBois

First Sentence:  Testifying inside the third-floor courtroom at the Wentworth County Superior Courthouse was the state's deputy chief medical examiner, a plump balding man with a habit of taking a short intake of breath each time he paused between his sentences.
Lewis Cole’s friend Felix Tinios is one trial for first-degree murder.  Rather than being represented by his usual, top-line attorney, he has a public defender, and refuses to see Lewis.  Felix often dances on the wrong side of the law, but this crime scene is way out of character.  Things become even more strange when the FBI approach Cole and ask he help clear his friend before Felix is murdered in prison.
A good opening with a powerful hook is a beautiful thing, and this book has it; especially for those who follow the series.  The book starts placidly enough, for the first few pages, but then it sucker punches you. 
Literary quotes from an author, via a character, are always welcome as they tell us something about both—“Stalin once said ‘Death solves all problems.  No man, no problem.”—and it’s fun to see how they’re worked into the story. Yes, there are portents, several of them, which are annoying.  Yet, one lives in eternal hope that authors will grow past this unnecessary, very irritating device that actually diminishes the suspense, one day.
Dubois’ ensemble of characters is interesting and diverse.  Not only are they real and developed, but they grow and change through time.  They encourage one to follow the series, partly to maintain a relationship with them.  Felix is particularly interesting, in spite of everything.  His description of the changes which occur in towns with the influx of casinos and all that goes with them is well done and rather poignant. 
DuBois as a very good story-telling voice and ability to combine sense of place with a touch of pathos—“A male jogger and then another male jogger went by, dressed in a nice colorful Spandex and both with white earbuds in their ears.  It made me wonder what digital tunes or words were so compelling that they needed to drown out the sound of the crashing waves, the cry of the birds, and the whistling of the wind through the rocks.”
Storm Cell” has very good characters, twists, suspense, and an exciting ending with a dramatic thread causing one to be eager for the next book.

STORM CELL (Lic Inv/Journ-Lewis Cole-Maine-Contemp) – G+
      DuBois, Brendan -
      Pegasus Crime – Nov 2016  

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