Sunday, 8 February 2015

Wayzata - Ted Korsmo

Leslie Fortescue comfortably rich at the tender age of thirty-two. Sue Fortescue comfortable in the rich surroundings provided by her husband. Then there's Mavis Madder - blonde, young and exceptionally pretty.

A triangle with more twists and turns than a roller-coaster.

Carroll La Rue, private detective hired by Mrs. Fortescue, has the possibly easy role of unpicking said triangle. Is Mavis still seeing Leslie? Shouldn't be a problem, but La Rue's instincts tell him Sue is keeping something from him.

So when Mavis is found sitting in his office, waiting to see his colleague Marion, things begin to unravel. Firstly and annoyingly, La Rue is captivated by the young blond (seeing her picture was one thing, but in the flesh...) and falls in love. The problem is his client Sue, has asked him to tail her. Surely it would make the relationship awkward, if they were to ever have one (with Mavis).

To complicate things further, there's a contract out for Mavis' death.

La Rue speaks to Marion, he'll need his gun, he can feel it. Marion tells him that he'll speak to the 'gun guy' insisting that this guy won't deal with him. La Rue thinks differently.

As the story unfolds, La Rue finds himself in a chaotic ensemble of lies, love and obsession. When he becomes the main suspect in a murder he has to work harder to get answers. Where is Fortescue's first wife? How is the 'gun guy' Tracy Timms involved and is Marion all he says he is?

With an air of Raymond Chandler, Korsmo's detective thriller is a quick, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable read.

Told from La Rue's viewpoint, the story moves along at an easy pace. His descriptions of places, people and circumstances are brief but explicit - "The man was in his late fifties, with a knobby bunched look, as though his body was composed of spheres crowded against each other.."

The author has written a seemingly straightforward mystery but along the way raises many questions and zigzags the plot so you know it won't the end the way you think it will. His expressions are meaningful -"I contemplated smoking another nail.." and add great color to the overall story.

For all fans of this genre, you won't be disappointed in the Korsmo's Minnesota drama. His style and language are eloquent and effortless. A recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author to review. The opinions expressed here are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique. 

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