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Double Dead by Terry Hoover
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Double Dead

by Terry Hoover

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Book Review: Southern Murder Mystery Double Dead
Double Dead, the debut Southern murder mystery by Terry Hoover, has been called a “standout by any standard” by Mystery Scene Magazine. I agree and so do the American Library Association's Booklist and several mystery authors. (In the interest of full disclosure, the author is my wife.)

As the book begins, it's summer 1961 in Charlotte, NC. People are thinking about yo-yos, madras and the A-bomb. The heat picks up when wealthy banker John Lattimore is accused of murdering his mistress Delores Green.

After exposing a scandal among management that destroyed his career and his wife's, former newspaper reporter Steve Harlan is eking out a living as a private detective. The defense provide him a big break: a chance to work on the big case he has been praying for. His jubilation is tempered when he learns how heartlessly Lattimore has involved Delores's 13-year-old son.

Did Lattimore do it or was the bottle to blame for the death? Harlan must find out to save his client from a date with the gas chamber and his own family from someone who will do anything to keep the truth hidden.

Double Dead has received a thumbs up from The American Library Association’s Booklist, as well as praise from award-winning mystery authors Charles Todd, Judy Clemens and Cathy Pickens. ( )
  harrywhoover | Dec 27, 2016 |
This book emits mixed feelings. A leading citizen is arrested and brought to trial for supposedly killing his"girlfriend". An ex newspaper reporter, and now private investigator, Steve Harlan is aiding the lawyer handling the defense. A single mother, Delores Green, is dead; and the coroner or well as the rest of the town wonder if John Lattimore killed Delores or if too much alcohol killed Delores. Poor Delores has over 200 bruises on her body, and no one can determine if the bruises happened prior to death or after death. Hoover adds to this picture a teen-age son who knows more than has been revealed. The majority of the book deals with exposing the inequality of justice based on personal wealth. This emphasis runs too heavy, and clouds the issue and makes the story off beat. ( )
  delphimo | May 8, 2011 |
It’s the ‘60s and tension is high between John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Fidel Castro, the cold war is raging, and you can buy a bomb shelter in a kit. But in the small town of Charlotte, North Carolina, life is slow and easy until John Lattimore, one of the town’s most esteemed members, is arrested for murdering his girlfriend, Delores Green. Lattimore claims he found Delores’s dead body at his cabin and simply brought her home, but he made one grave mistake. He bullied Delores’s son, Greg, into helping him create the impression she died of natural causes. But 200+ bruises over Delores’s body prove otherwise.

Former newspaper reporter Steve Harlan has set up office as a private investigator and is barely making ends meet. When Lattimore’s defense attorney asks Steve to investigate Delores’s death, this offer seems like a godsend. Steve learns Delores was an alcoholic and took prescription medicine, and this becomes Lattimore’s defense. Although Steve does not believe Lattimore is innocent, his investigation leads him to a gas station robbery in a nearby town and back to Lattimore’s cabin, where danger awaits.

Hoover’s Southern ambiance and dialect read true to the time and place. Harlan is a likeable character, a man of principle whose first priority is his family. This debut in the Steve Harlan mystery series is a fast-paced whodunit with plenty of red herrings and suspense. ( )
  ctfrench | Mar 23, 2008 |
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Things heat up when wealthy local banker, John Lattimore, is arrested for the murder of his mistress Delores Green.

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