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Coeur d'Alene Waters by Ned Hayes

Coeur d'Alene Waters (2007)

by Ned Hayes

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811,035,133 (4)None
  1. 00
    Over Tumbled Graves by Jess Walter (nedhayes)
    nedhayes: These two books are set in the same Pacific Northwest world, and the same complicated political landscape.
  2. 00
    Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (nedhayes)

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When I learned I'd won this book as a giveaway on Booklikes I couldn't help jumping for joy, then waited with bated breathe until the wonderful day when it arrived for my perusal. Oh, the wait was so worth it, the writing of Ned Hayes' debut mystery novel is so very good, so much better than I'd dared to expect that I found myself both delighted and surprised.

Late one night a dismembered body was discovered in the washroom of a luxury resort near the beautiful Lake Coeur D'Alene in the Pacific Northwest. Matt Worthson, a recovering alcoholic who has lost the respect and backing of his fellow officers, was assigned to investigate and find the killer of the victim, Arlen Bowman, chaplain for the city's police force.

Right from the beginning Matt runs into problems, coverups, secrets withheld from him and secrets he himself is guarding. With guilt eating away at his confidence and self esteem, he is determined to solve the murder despite the obstacles placed in front of him, including being assigned the case by corrupt officials who thought him controllable.

The story unfolds very slowly with side trips to the Sunshine Mine fire disaster that happened nearly 20 years before the murder and the introduction of seemingly random characters and their stories, but as the book progresses, it is all brought together and dark secrets are revealed of what happened at the mine fire where 91 miners perished. There was never a moment before the end that I thought I had figured out who killed Arlen or why he had to die.

I took my time reading this dark, gritty mystery as the tension would build so high I had to walk away for a bit before feeling able to once again return to it. I felt helpless as the walls were closing in on Matt and wondered how and if he could prevail. Hayes did a masterful job of keeping ones interest and the suspense throughout.

This book has it all, corruption in a small town, guilt, greed, mistrust, betrayal yet also love, hope and redemption. I highly recommend to those who love a good historical mystery. I am so looking forward to reading more by this very promising author.

originally published on http://chapterofdreams.com/ ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
What is it about the Pacific Northwest that leads some into dark worlds of violence and despair? Had one-time north Idaho journalist Ned Hayes made this tantalizing question the centerpiece of his debut novel, he might have only created a derivative retelling of an all-too-familiar serial killer plot. Instead, he takes the plot for this well-written literary thriller from the historical facts of the still-unsolved Sunshine Mine disaster in 1972, and winds it tight around the troubled central figure of Matt Worthson, a one time candidate for Sheriff in Coeur d'Alene.

Worthson, suffering from a broken marriage and a suspect car accident, is pulled into a tangled history of corrupt politics, separatist plots, and powerful interests who control the lucrative Idaho mining industry. The novel opens with the discovery of the mutilated body of a chaplain who works with the police department, and seems to point towards a local serial killer who is again on the loose. But this tried and true plot soon moves in a more complicated direction, as Worthson's own motivations and past crimes are brought under the microscope.

The story of the Sunshine Mine disaster itself is told in a flashback that is both compelling and heart-rending, as Worthson struggles with his father's impending death, and the secrets his father still refuses to reveal about the mine disaster - the truth of which has important implications for Worthson's investigation.

Coeur d'Alene Waters is a solidly written murder mystery with a haunting finish, reminiscent of the best of Ridley Pearson or the early work of fellow Washington writer Jess Walter.
-- Book Note, 2007 Featured Review
added by nedhayes | editBook Note (Featured Review), Sherris Walton (May 2, 2007)
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"Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is where people go to hide. Neo-Nazis. Corrupt politicians. Mining men with buried secrets. Finally, one man is digging deep into the labyrinth of lies, and finding out what really happened when ninety-one men died in the 1972 Sunshine Mine disaster. He has the chance to uncover his own family's dark secrets, and destroy everything he holds onto in Coeur d'Alene." --Cover p. [4].… (more)

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