Sunday, March 8, 2015

Island of Bones (Louis Kincaid) by P.J. Parrish

A plot as twisted and hidden as the tangled mangroves, suspenseful, dark, yet curiously entertaining.

This is my first visit to the world of Louis Kincaid, and what an adventure it was! With a sort of laid back beginning through to the final whirlwind, it truly kept my attention. A hurricane sweeps the Florida island where he lives and washes up what he originally believes to be a murdered baby's skull. It takes a new father only a quick glance to inform him that it is a newborn's skull and no murder. It also appears to be about 500 years old. Is this a portent of things to come? Will this innocent child connect the dots? For some reason, Kincaid has become very attached to this baby's skull and can't escape the thoughts about what could have caused it's death.

Once we really get into the book, we get into the world of missing girls, a strange privately owned island, a possible serial killer...but I'm getting ahead of myself. For the missing persons case, an unlikely relationship builds up between the new head detective and our private investigator, Louis Kincaid. Kincaid has been approached by a woman who wants him to follow her father, Frank Woods. She suspects him of killing the girl who has gone missing. With not much to go on, why would she hire a private detective for this vague premise? While watching her father, he finds him to be a very mild-mannered librarian. Following him seems a waste of time, he rarely changes his routine. But there are many questions.

The book suddenly takes off, having grabbed my attention thoroughly while following the whys and wherefores up until now. A connection is made to another island, the action and suspense begin to take on much more momentum, adrenaline flows and so does mine as I read. An ancient Roman/Spanish family tree, Asturian descendents who often speak in Latin, owners and protectors of the island Away So Far, a misnomer based on the Spanish for Island of Bones, Isla de huesos. P.J. Parrish has done very deep research to back up this story line. The background is as much a character as any of the people. History, mystery, murder, and genetics all rolled into one strong story. Great characterizations, great twisting plot as twisted and hidden as the tangled mangroves, suspenseful, dark, yet curiously entertaining.

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