THE FISHER KING

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight Mystery -

Melissa Len­hardt, Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing Hard­cover $24.99 (280pp), 978-1-5107-0729-0

In this fol­low-up to Melissa Len­hardt’s de­but novel, Still­wa­ter, de­tec­tive Jack Mcbride finds him­self em­broiled in a new set of con­flicts shortly af­ter re­solv­ing his first case. Mcbride, an out­sider to his adopted town of Still­wa­ter, faces sus­pi­cion from the town’s in­hab­i­tants as crimes con­tinue to rise, seem­ingly con­nected to the day he first took on his job. But Mcbride per­se­veres and, in the process, un­cov­ers a po­lit­i­cal con­spir­acy, a drug war, and a web of cor­rup­tion so deep that Mcbride be­gins to won­der if the town can be sal­vaged af­ter all.

The Fisher King fo­cuses more on its char­ac­ters and set­ting than any flashy bursts of ac­tion; the town of Still­wa­ter is as much a char­ac­ter as de­tec­tive Jack Mcbride and the oth­ers who pop­u­late it, in­clud­ing Jack’s old flame El­lie Martin and the cor­rupt and power-hun­gry busi­ness­man (and would-be politi­cian) Joe Doyle. This doesn’t mean, how­ever, that the novel lacks sus­pense: it opens with a threat­en­ing scene be­fore launch­ing al­most di­rectly into the dis­cov­ery of two charred bod­ies, which sets off the se­ries of events that Mcbride must fol­low, re­lent­lessly, in or­der to pro­tect his adopted home. The twists and turns con­tinue to the very end, even af­ter the fi­nal con­fronta­tion and cli­max. Charged with myth, The Fisher King is a haunt­ing novel about dif­fer­ent peo­ple’s claims on a place, and the power strug­gles, vi­o­lence, and de­cep­tion they use to seize it. Dark and omi­nous, the novel strikes the per­fect mood and will be sure to ap­peal to fans eager for more of Mcbride’s ad­ven­tures.

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