A bank heist turns sleepy little Wagon Mound, New Mexico on its ear. It’s no straight-forward, demand all the money at gun-point, and run out the front door kind of robbery. It’s a sneaky tunneling that probably took months to complete and put the thieves in a room of safe deposit boxes—not the vault which held some two million. Safe deposit boxes? What could have made it worthwhile to bypass a cool couple million?
Maybe the one hundred and ten year old sapphire and diamond necklace belonging to eighty-five year old Gertrude Kennedy was the lure. United Life and Casualty carried a policy on it for five hundred thousand and sent their investigator, Dan Mahoney to sort things out.
But he didn’t quite get there when expected. Catching a ride when his Jeep overheats, Dan is the hapless passenger in a rollover that kills the driver and puts him in the hospital only to find out this was no accident. Someone wants him out of Wagon Mound at any cost.
He doesn’t scare easily. He hasn’t lived his life looking over his shoulder and he’s not starting now. But when fiancée, Elaine Linden, disappears and people close to the case turn up dead, maybe he should reconsider. The note slipped under his door in the dead of night says it all—“it’s not what you think”.
I love whodunnits. The traveling investigator finding and solving crimes in different towns. Sometimes the crime seems simple, but then after a few twists and turns, the crime becomes more. Whodunnits always seem to be one of those quick reads for mysteries. They are the bread and butter. I would consider Rollover by Susan Slater a whodunnit. A mighty good whodunnit.
I like how Slater sets the reader up for immediate action. You begin reading the book thinking “here is a guy off to check out a bank robbery. Okay, whatever”, but then the namesake of the book happens. All in the first chapter you are left wondering what will happen to the main character Dan Mahoney.
I haven’t read the first book so I don’t really know Dan Mahoney all that well. However, the way the book is written, it doesn’t seem like you need to read the first book to grasp on to the characters. Rollover reminds me of PBS Masterpiece Theater mystery shows. No, Dan Mahoney isn’t a Sherlock or Poirot. And he is most certainly not Miss Marple. Mahoney is Mahoney. But, the caliber of the writing and the twists and turns made me feel like I was watching a good old fashioned mystery. Or at least reading one.
You meet a slew of interesting characters and learn the ins and outs of a small town in New Mexico all the while traveling through a mess of a crime with Mahoney. Slater writes a believable caper and an interesting story that makes me want to read more of her books. Looks like the first book will be in my bookshelf eventually.