A serial killer runs around Skagit County in Washington State. Former police officer Jake Mosby is retired...and wants to lead a quiet, simple life. But, he's stuck with an ornery teen-ager and a new girlfriend and he needs to man up for one last mission.
by Ken Coffman
Copyright ©October 4, 2011 by Ken Coffman
Published by Stairway Press
Jake Mosby, ex-police officer, is 66 years old and done with life. But life isn’t done with him. Through the deaths of his father and step-mother, he inherits a used book store and a car and through his daughter, guardianship of his grandson. Not at all what he’s looking for, but he adjusts and figures he’ll keep his life going for a while longer.
Then Eleanor Bradley, a lady from the Peaceful Meadows Nursing Home, comes to him with a problem. She believes an employee at the home, Charlie Fairhaven, is killing residents. Can Jake put a stop to Charlie?
Jake agrees to look into the situation and in the process, discovers something disturbing about his own father’s death. Now Jake won’t stop digging until Charlie Fairhaven is stopped, one way or the other.
This story has two great characters, Jake Mosby and Charlie Fairhaven. Jake is a love-him-or-hate-him type of character and at times I loved him and at times I hated him. For a sweet old curmudgeon, he can be a real bastard when he wants to be. But he’s good at what he does and gets the job done, even if he doesn’t want to be doing it.
Charlie Fairhaven…now there’s an interesting character. His killing roots run deep, and at first they’re pretty textbook, but then they escalate quickly and even he knows that there’s only one way to stop him.
As for the story itself, the plot is a good one, but the telling of the story falls short. Some of the situations seem perfectly plausible while others are implausible…there’s a sub-plot about an internal investigation that has nothing to do with the main plot, so why is it in the story at all? And when Charlie’s life starts to go out of control, it goes in a direction that makes no sense at all. It almost seems like it goes in “this” direction for the sole purpose of introducing us to “these” people who help bring about the end of the drama and there was no other way to bring about that end except through “these” people who we wouldn’t have met if Charlie hadn’t gone in “this” direction. If that didn’t make sense to you, then neither would that particular twist in the story.
In summary, Fairhaven feels like the third or fourth draft of a novel and needs just one more rewrite and a new title to get everything just right. It’s almost a very good story.
I give this story TWO STARS.
I received an Advance Uncorrected Proof from NetGalley. This story is due to be released October 4, 2011 by Stairway Press and can be purchased through their website.