Places the Dead Call Home by Paul L. Hall iUniverse (2006) ISBN 0595410715 Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (4/07)
Award winning author Paul L. Hall has written another stellar mystery adventure thriller. Hall has created a cast of characters with connecting stories and personality quirks that draw you into a complex plot with sharp twists and expert pacing in this compelling story of intrigue, mystery, deception, and murder.
Jimmy Kincaid died from bullet wounds as the result of a robbery gone awry in 1958 in Oklahoma. Nineteen years later on an army base in Virginia a soldier met his death in an apparent suicide. Josh Kincaid is a common link to both events. Phoenix, Arizona in 2002 is the setting for part one of fast paced novel.
Josh has settled into an easy going life style when his cousin, retired police officer Frankie McKnight, arrived in Phoenix to help resolve the riddle of Josh’s father’s death. McKnight is convinced that the answer will be found in the Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde. Young journalist Jeffrey Bonus is probing into the suicide death of his father for a book he is writing. Beautiful, multifaceted, Jeanette Koskos, connects with Bonus on his way to interview Kincaid in Phoenix. An angry dangerous Navajo Indian, Tommy Three Hands, a retired general, Herman Endicott and his aide, Gary Grote all play a part in the suspense, deception, greed, and revenge that follow.
The lure of the Arizona desert, Indian history, and Hall’s picturesque descriptions add another dimension and local flavor to the narrative. I especially appreciated Hall’s subtle use of humor, and his cryptic references to racial and religious intolerance through the dialog. Hall blends the surreal, mystic, action and mystery as the story moves through crisis after crisis to a dramatic unexpected climax.
“Places the Dead Call Home” is well written with a good story line. Truly, a good read!