Long Gone Man-Phyllis Smallman

Long Gone Man
Phyllis Smallman
Touchwood Mystery, Sep 17 2013, $14.95
ISBN: 9781771510301

Two decades ago in Arizona, Singer Brown was singing with the band Vortex when she met Michael, the love of her life. When he vanished without a trace, she mentally collapsed relying on drugs to help her make it past her nightmares. Recently, Michael’s murdered remains were found in the desert. Seeking revenge, Singer heads to British Columbia’s Gulf Islands to confront the Vortex band leader Johnny Vibes who she believes killed her beloved as she doubts he wrote his only quality tune Long Gone Man.

In a thick fog the ferry takes her to Glenphiddie Island. At the dock she drives her Beast up the narrow road on Mt. Skeena, but is forced to flee her decrepit van as it teeters on the edge. When she arrives at Vibes’ home, she meets his wife Lauren and finds her target murdered. Singer and Lauren agree to provide a joint alibi to Royal Mounted Police Sergeant Wilmot so that the cop can concentrate on finding the real killer. Singer investigates the two homicides twenty years apart by looking at the band and their families; while one of them wants her dead.

With Sherri Travis taking a well-deserved Florida respite, talented Phyllis Smallman starts a new exciting mystery series diagonally across the continent. Singer is terrific and the cops competent; but it is the angry band members and their families who make for a strong amateur sleuth as the audience, Wilmot and the heroine uncover their guilt, rage and greed. Fast-paced, readers will appreciate the first act while expecting encores.

Harriet Klausner

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