“A very cool ride. If Raymond Chandler was reincarnated as a novelist in South Florida, he couldn’t nail it any better than Dufresne.”—Carl Hiaasen
On Christmas Eve in Eden, Florida, Wylie “Coyote” Melville, therapist and forensic consultant, is summoned to a horrific crime scene. Five members of the Halliday family have been brutally killed. Wylie’s rare talent is an ability to read a crime scene, consider the evidence seen and unseen, and determine what’s likely to have happened. The police are soon convinced that the deaths were a murder-suicide carried out by a broken and desperate Chafin Halliday, but Wylie’s not so sure.
As Wylie begins his own investigation with the help of his friend Bay Lettique—a poker-playing sleight-of-hand artist with links to the Everglades County underworld—he discovers a web of corruption involving the police union, Ponzi-scheming lawyers, county politicians, and the Russian mob. What follows is a heart-stopping, edgy novel that introduces a completely original crime solver.
The Eden, Fla., police believe that Chafin Halliday slaughtered his wife and three young children before killing himself in this absorbing if at times frustrating noir from Dufresne (Louisiana Power & Light). However, therapist Wylie Coyote Melville, a volunteer forensic consultant, thinks the supposed murder/suicide looks staged. He also has his doubts about the typed note Halliday left at the scene. Distracted by his own family s emotional troubles, Wylie is too unfocused to deal with Eden s escalating tangle of police corruption or to realize how close to its center he is. Lauded as a man of keen insight, Wylie knows something is seriously wrong, but is unaware that he s become a pawn in a game he no longer understands. His inability to apply his analytic skills to himself is plausible, as is the ease with which those around him steer him for their own benefit, but the result is a story ever so slightly out of focus.