Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review of "Fatal Decree" by H. Terrell Griffin

Disturbing things are happening on Longboat Key, located off St. Petersburg, Florida. Serial murders that happened in Miami twelve years ago seem to be happening on Longboat Key now. The first local victim is Nell Alexander, the wife of Gene Alexander, an agent with a secret government organization. Was Nell killed because of her husband's job?

Moreover - is it just a coincidence that J.D. Duncan, a new detective with the Longboat Key police, once worked on the Miami cases? Could someone be sending her an ominous message? J.D. and her friend, retired attorney Matt Royal, look into the crimes. (For readers who like a spot of romance there's some chemistry between these two.)

Before long there are several attempts to kill J.D - some of which she escapes by sheer luck. People also seem to be trying to kill Matt, the most likely suspects being suspicious Guatemalans who've been hanging around. To cap it all off, Gene Alexander is soon found murdered, though his death has been staged (incompetently) to look like suicide.

As luck would have it Matt's friend Jock - who works for the same secret agency as Gene Alexander - is in town for some fishing. Jock has very high connections, and a word from him helps Matt get all kinds of inside information. The main action of the story consists of Matt and J.D. trying to figure out what the heck is going on while their lives are in jeopardy and additional murders are occuring all over Longboat Key.

There are plenty of characters in the story, the main bad guys being a fake lawyer and various hired assassins. These criminals seem to have very little backbone, however, and - as soon as they're apprehended - start blabbing everything they know. Meanwhile, the official investigation jogs along slowly, with Matt and J.D (and sometimes Jock) going to a lot of restaurants, bringing everyone sandwiches, and so on.

I don't want to reveal spoilers so I'll just say the plot doesn't hold together and the ending - where all is revealed --is complex and completely unbelievable. I don't recommend this book. There are plenty of better mystery/thrillers available.

Rating: 2 stars

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