27 December 2011

Speak Ill of the Living; Mark Arsenault

Speak Ill of the LivingSpeak Ill of the Living by Mark Arsenault
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Our reporter/investigator/hero Eddie Bourque is the much (20 years) younger brother of Hank, who is serving life for the theft of 1MM lbs of gold and the murder of the two security guards guarding the gold. Why is this relevant? At first we're not sure, but slowly the kidnapping (and possible murder) of businessman Rick Lime, the suicide of the coroner Caine and the death of the writer/editor/dogsbody of the Lowell weekly start to tie together. The ending is nicely ambiguous - what will Eddie do next? how will what happened in this book affect his future? will he continue to report on/investigate mysteries only now with his brother's behind-bars help?

The mystery was relatively easy to follow, and the Big Reveal was hinted at earlier (or maybe I've just read far too many mysteries?), but overall this wasn't bad. Even better was that General VonKatz wasn't portrayed as some cutesy addition to Bourque's life but as the only constant being in his life. At times I'm not sure why we get all the Lowell-Kerouac ties, however. Perhaps it's to separate Lowell from other small, semi-rundown towns? There seemed to be little other reason.

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