By David Kennedy
Freelance journalist Alex Scott plays house-sitter in Costa Brava for a family friend. Recently, one of the elderly housekeepers suffers a fatal accident. But was it an accident. Scott’s investigation turns up strange things. What is with a Russian buying up property in the area? What is going on in the lighthouse? What does a pretty blonde Ukranian have to do with the entire affair? Scott steps into danger and ends up fighting for his life.
For a premise, I thought it was pretty good. A murder mystery with the standard attractive woman to divert attention, some sneaky Russians, and mystery that could turn out to be one thing, but maybe again, it’s another.
Alex Scott: 30s, tall, parents dead, freelance journalist, blue eyes
Ferran Camps: small frame, works for Camps International
Dolors Ruiz: widow, housekeeper
Juan Finat: married w/children, dark wavy hair, drives a BMW
Maria: dark hair, architect
Natalya: Blonde, green eyes
A nice cast with a few others that play important roles either for the white hats or the dark hats. Most were well represented with Maria showing up near the beginning and then not until the end.
Since we’re in Costa Brava, the main language is Spanish and there’s a fair amount of it, but not overwhelming and nothing that isn’t understood. Capitalization errors on tag lines.
One issue with dialogue was that there were a lot of conversations where statements/questions/information was repeated. I didn’t mind it so much when it happened during interrogations because that’s cop-speak. But it happened a lot and it became overly repetitive. Get on with it, you’ve already given this information or answered the question before.
Punctuation errors and a misspelled word or two. The profanity in this was not heavy and, for me, almost not needed.
The main concern here is the amount of time not spent on the case. This is a murder mystery and much of the book details swimming and scuba diving and the town and the cliffs and the boats and the town and the dinner and the town. I kept wanting to get more of the mystery. In time, near the end of each section of gallivanting and sightseeing, a piece of the mystery came into the picture. This book took awhile to get going and near the middle there was a huge chunk of information dump. This might have been spread throughout or put near the end somewhere near the twist.
Once things started moving and Scott and another journalist started making and executing plans, then the tension heightened and the action was better.