Monday, May 21, 2018

Detective Donald Lam Goes Searching for a Missing Husband and a Wayward Uncle

This entry in the Donald Lam/Bertha Cool series opens when a fifteen-year-old girl comes into the office hoping that the firm will find her missing Uncle Amos. Uncle Amos occasionally goes off on a bender. When he does, he mails his car keys to the girl's mother and when the bender is over, he hitchhikes home, usually catching a ride with a brother Elk. The girl is worried because this time Uncle Amos has been gone for an unusually long time. The girl and her mother depend on Amos for support and her mother needs an operation and things are generally grim. 

Adding to the mystery is the fact that Amos is a couple of weeks short of his thirty-fifth birthday, at which time he will inherit a boatload of money unless he has been convicted of a serious crime. In that event, the fortune will be divided among a number of charities. 

Despite this terribly sad tale, Bertha kicks the kid out of the office because there's no money in it for the firm. Instead, she sends Donald out to meet with a fairly wealthy woman whose husband has disappeared. The woman is offering the firm a substantial bonus if they can find the husband.

Before meeting the wealthy wife, Donald interviews the poor young girl and her mother and promises to try to find the missing Uncle Amos. He also gives them some money from the firm's expense account to tide them over until Amos reappears. He then talks to the very sexy woman whose husband is missing and who is quick to put the moves on Donald. 

Donald discovers that the missing husband and the missing Uncle Amos both sent postcards from the same rural service station just before they disappeared. This "coincidence" is, of course. too much to be believed, and it propels Donald into another very entertaining investigation. As is common in these books, the twists and turns will leave virtually any reader reeling, but it's a fun ride, and this is one of the better books in the series.

1 comment:

  1. The word “gimmick” can be thrown around to describe a major element of a film that changes up the ordinary tropes we’d expect from a rather straightforward flick. There is 3D, timeline splicing, animation, found footage, you name it. Some films almost even fall into these places as a genre. When they do, you get the inkling that the people responsible for thinking up the movie likely have these elements in mind at the forefront with the story as an afterthought. > Reviews Searching Only when that occurs do I call those elements gimmicky. And it’s not that a gimmick is a bad thing, but if that is what you rely on to make your story compelling, it will often become a crutch for poor storytelling or one-and-done enjoyment. Sometimes it is done right, in which case the gimmick works… but most of the time it has that negative connotation for good reason.

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