Massacre Island: A Novel Hardcover – Oct 5 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
In his third Jack Delmas novel (after 2000's Green-Eyed Hurricane), Hegwood paints such an attractive picture of Dauphin Island, which lies off the coast of Alabama, one feels like packing one's bags and heading south. Jack comes to the island, very reluctantly, to investigate the murder of a young woman, Rebecca Jordan, one of four victims shot execution-style in the home of Rebecca's boyfriend, Jason Summers. The media have sensationalized the story, portraying the deaths as drug-related and Rebecca as a tramp. Her mother wants Jack to vindicate her name. Everyone's prime choice of the real target of the murders is Jason, a hotshot entrepreneur who made regular trips to Mexico in search of "clients" for his business. The authorities are convinced he was smuggling drugs, despite the lack of evidence. In truth, there's no evidence to suggest any motive for such a drastic crime. Jack's presence on the island is met with a similar, inexplicable hostility. Someone plants a letter bomb on his doorstep. Someone else threatens his daughter, with whom he has a refreshingly realistic relationship. Not easily intimidated, Jack puts his case together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, with infinite patience and ably aided by Deputy Jimbo McInnes, who wants to be a private eye. Not least of this book's charms is that the ultimate solution concerns wheelbarrows. The absence of pointless violence also helps make this a pleasant read. Author tour.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Private eye Jack Delmas (A Green-Eyed Hurricane), hired to find out why four people were murdered on Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama, hopes to salvage a young woman's reputation from the media tabloids. His investigation turns up connections to a local ruffian/bookie with ties to a white supremacist organization, an ex-Nicaraguan death squad lawyer, and a violent environmentalist group headquartered on the island. Jack's child and fractious former wife also figure into the equation. Factual information, atmospheric detailing of the sultry Gulf Coast, and unnerving action make for an exciting read. Fans of Southern mysteries will enjoy this. Highly recommended.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Summarizing greatly, Jack Delmas is a private investigator still harboring bitterness over his divorce from Susan. Susan decided she didn't want to be married to someone who wasn't willing to work in her father's bank forever, worrying about the latest society pecking order, so she took their daughter and went home to Memphis. Six years later, Jack rarely gets to see his daughter Peyton and it is during her two-week summer visit that he becomes involved in his latest case.
Jack lives near Dauphin Island, Alabama, once known as Massacre Island for good reason. There has been a modern day massacre and the networks are camped out everywhere to cover the death and faltering police investigation. Four young people are dead in Jason Summers's beach house, counting Jason. The investigation is going nowhere as the victims are violated again by the media. The mother of one of the dead victims, Carolyn Jordan, hires Jack not to find the killer, but to clear her daughter, Rebecca, of any wrongdoing that led up to her death.
Jack agrees and soon is deep into a very murky case along with the reader.Read more ›
The story then flashes back to the start when Jack was hired by a woman to determine why her daughter, along with three other young people, was murdered in a summer cabin on Dauphine Island. Matters are complicated when Jack's ex-wife runs her mouth about Jack's case. She only told her friend on Dauphine Island, but that was like telling the tabloids. Jack receives a death threat before he half begins his inquiries. The 220 pages following Chapter One are divided into 26 additional chapters.
The case involves possible smuggling, sports betting, environmental fanatics, various local watering holes with hard-drinking pool-playing rednecks, and assorted women (Jimbo is usually on the prowl). The reader learns various details about Jack's past life, and his incompatibility with his ex-wife - their preferred lifestyles are a mismatch (he was from a family of shrimpers and boat builders and played baseball at Ole Miss, she was a Rebelette from a cotton-planting banking family in higher society). Jack's ex- is jealous of the new women in his life, particularly if they have a bigger bust than she has.
The novel has an interesting plot, and contains helpful maps of Dauphine Island and the Mobile County, Alabama area. It will probably be of particular interest to people familiar with the Gulf Coast.
Jack travels to Dauphin Island and begins a careful inquiry so as to not run a foul of the local law enforcement investigation. However, with the help of Deputy Jimbo McInnis, Jack begins to uncover a twisted case that includes lunatic environmentalists, depraved wealthy individuals, and murderers who will kill a private sleuth getting to close to the truth.
MASSACRE ISLAND is an engaging private investigative mystery that works because the key players make the plot work. The story line is deep as the case twists and turns with each step that appears to bring Jack closer to the truth yet ends up meandering further from why Rebecca died. Martin Hegwood provides an entertaining tale for those who enjoy a solid sleuthing story.