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Bone Island Mambo by Tom Corcoran
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Bone Island Mambo

by Tom Corcoran

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I can see why this one wasn't in the library - it wasn't as good of a book on its own as the other Rutledge mysteries have been. It felt too disconnected, with too many different plot pieces going along for me to have any chance of figuring anything out... and although action is good, I feel like he went overboard with the action sequences in this one - perhaps the editors wanted some more action and then he went too far. A good book to take to the beach. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
21. [Bone Island Mambo] by [[Tom Corcoran]]

I'm one of those people who hate to give up on a book and stop reading it.

So by the time I realized/accepted that yes, I really wasn't going to enjoy this book as much as hoped by the back cover, I was halfway through, and decided I had to push through and finish.

[Bone Island Mambo] was one of those fun $2 impulse paperback buys at a book fair. These buys frequently turn out well for me, with fun mysteries I would otherwise never have read coming into my book-loving life.

Sadly, this was not the case with this book. The back cover described a mystery where crimes from the past were being replicated in the present, and a photographer, who becomes the main suspect, must figure out how the secrets of the past are connected to the never-ending cycle of murders suddenly occurring.

What I got, however, was a completely unbelievable main character, one straight out of a stereotypical action movie, who dodges exploding motorcycles, knives thrown at him on two separate occasions, and at least ten different people trying to kill/bring him down; caricature supporting characters including multiple one-note women who all talk with the same seeming swagger but drop anything and everything to help the protagonist because he's that irresistible; and a mystery that becomes a complete side note to the protagonist's "heroic deeds" and is wrapped up quickly and with no real revelations in the last few pages. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Feb 18, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312980086, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, May 2001: This is Tom Corcoran's third Alex Rutledge mystery, in a series set in the Key West tourists rarely see. Rutledge, a forensic photographer, lives among the eccentrics who make Key West their year-round home. He has made his share of enemies on the island and has romanced many of the women, so there is a feeling of family about this series--with all the dysfunction that word can imply.

Rutledge is photographing a construction project when he is approached by two women, both of whom have ties to the construction project (and apparently to everything else of importance in Key West). Within minutes Rutledge is set upon by two young men who definitely mean him harm. He fights them off. Within hours, Rutledge is called out to photograph two murders--a man dressed in women's clothes and a headless corpse lying on a bench. Rutledge finds himself trying to make sense of the two murders and how they are connected with the attack on him, while also butting heads with some important locals, including Butler Dunwoody, a project developer new to town.

Rutledge can't help feeling suspicious of Dexter Hayes, the watch commander who calls him to photograph the first body. The son of a disgraced cop, Hayes makes no effort to keep the integrity of the crime scene intact and dismisses Rutledge from the scene soon after he starts photographing. Then ex-sheriff Tommy Tucker, another disgraced officer, asks Rutledge to meet with Mercer Holloway, a more entrenched island property developer.

Soon Rutledge is up to his neck in murder and intrigue, and the worst part is trying to tell the good guys from the bad. Corcoran writes in a concise and breezy style, and Alex Rutledge should be attracting more fans to his laid-back lifestyle, which always includes a murder or two. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"It's early. The tourists are still asleep. Freelance and part-time crime photographer Alex Rutledge bicycles near-vacant streets, taking pictures for his own enjoyment. But he's challenged at a restoration district construction site, accused by a developer of snapping photos for an expose." "An hour later, the city police request Rutledge's forensic photo expertise. A murder victim has been found - at the same work site. Detective Dexter Hayes, Jr., is caustic and inept, and Rutledge is dismissed before he completes his work. An hour later, the county sheriff, Chicken Neck Liska, asks Alex to photograph another murder victim, this time on nearby Stock Island.". "Rutledge soon suspects that the murders are linked - illogically, through him. But he can't divulge the link to his lover, Teresa Barga, for fear of compromising her police media liaison job. Alex questions the detective's blundering, while the cops begin to link him to the crimes. A powerful real-estate broker offers Rutledge an odd, lucrative job. Friends are threatened. He and Teresa dodge gunshots. Yet there is no identifiable antagonist, no motive, no reason for Rutledge to be a hub for evil. To protect himself and his friends, and to avoid arrest - unsuccessfully, at first - he must scratch for information on an island where few tell the truth."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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