Cape Diamond, the second book in the Frank Yakabuski Mystery series, is atmospheric and action-packed. Set near the Northern Divide — as was the first installment, Edgar Award nominee (Best Paperback Original), Ragged Lake — the book opens with Yakabuski called to investigate a gruesome crime scene. A body has been left hanging from a schoolyard fence. On closer inspection, Yak finds a large diamond in the murder victim’s mouth.
Two criminal gangs — the Shiners and the Travellers — are fighting with each other, and Yakabuski turns to his father, a now-retired detective who has a long history with the gangs, for advice in the interrogation. Is the conflict over the murder of two men? The kidnapping of a little girl? Or, possibly, the diamond found in Augustus Morrissey’s mouth? As if this weren’t enough for one detective, a serial killer is taking a deadly road trip through the United States, heading towards the Northern Divide.
Ron Corbett weaves the various strands together with ingenuity, making Cape Diamond a brooding, suspense-filled story of hubris, betrayal, and evil deeds; his writing is sparse and taut, compelling the reader to follow the action and gang conflict to a surprise ending.
Corbett follows up his series debut, Ragged Lake, with an equally gritty and tough tangle of cases set in Det. Frank Yakabuski's home city near Ontario's Northern Divide watershed. Yakabuski investigates the gruesome murder of the region's most feared gang leader, who was found strung up on a fence with his eyes cut out and a huge raw diamond placed in his mouth. His gang, the Shiners, retaliate, warring against their secretive and elusive rivals, the Travellers. Yakabuski has a lot on his plate with a revenge killing of a prominent Traveller and a kidnapping, a town gripped in fear, and a paid Mexican assassin headed north to kill him and leaving a path of dead bodies in his wake. Setting Yakabuski on home ground reveals more layers of his character, depicted by his relationships with his ex-cop dad and his sister, whose husband has strong Shiner ties. Like the first book, the writing in this one is sparse and lean, echoing the harshness and isolation of the land, but with literally less ground to cover within the city's borders, this entry is even tighter. The protagonist evolves, and Corbett lays a strong foundation for what promises to be a truly captivating series.