This newest mystery featuring Mitch Berger and Connecticut State Trooper Des Mitry presents Des with her first genuine racially charged case in the historic New England village of Dorset, the gem of Connecticut's Gold Coast.
Tyrone "Da Beast" Grantham, the famously volatile NFL superstar linebacker, has just been suspended for "conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the league." When Tyrone and his entourage decide to spend his season in exile in bucolic Dorset---much to the dismay of his early-to-bed, ultra-white neighbors---Des is put on the spot. And when Tyrone's eighteen-year-old sister-in-law, Kinitra, washes up on Mitch's beach one morning, bloodied and barely alive, Des is on the case. Especially when it turns out that Kinitra is eight weeks pregnant. Good thing there's nothing else serious going on in our heroes' lives right now. Like, say, Mitch's parents arriving from Florida at long last to meet the new woman of color in their nice Jewish boy's life.
The Blood Red Indian Summer makes a fine and entertaining addition to David Handler's award-winning, critically-acclaimed series.
Well-heeled white-bread Dorset, Conn., isn't exactly rolling out the welcome Range Rover for its newest residents suspended NFL superstar Tyrone "Da Beast" Grantham and his extended family/entourage and that's even before bodies start dropping in Edgar-winner Handler's engaging eighth mystery featuring Amazonian African-American state trooper Desiree "Des" Mitry and her schlubby film critic boyfriend, Mitch Berger (after 2010's The Shimmering Blond Sister). Already facing a massive civil suit for allegedly assaulting a nursing student at a pro-am golf tournament, Da Beast becomes the obvious prime suspect after his bloodied, barely breathing teenage sister-in-law, Kinitra, washes up on the beach near Berger's rented cottage. Before you can say "media circus," two of Da Beast's most vocal adversaries are slain execution-style, putting Des and Mitch in the middle of an explosive case. Handler's blend of suspenseful plot, skillful telling, and occasional splashes of comic relief add up to a heady cocktail of prime crime.
Sorry, But Two Stars
I've read each Berger-Mitry tale and remember how I couldn't put them down because of the suspense, the character and scenic descriptions, me trying to figure the murderer(s).
This story lacks those qualities. It was borderline boring and feels like the author rushed through this story (especially when I counted grammatical errors) to get to market by deadline. I desperately hope the next in the series has better polish and better real world dialogue.