As this fifth Lewis Cole mystery opens, Lewis is attending a funeral service for his friend, Jon Ericson. Lewis recently met Jon Ericson as Jon was walking on the beach below Lewis' seaside home. Jon was looking for Viking coins and other artifacts that would prove his controversial theory that the Vikings arrived in New Hampshire and vicinity long before European explorers and settlers. The two men became good friends.
So it was only natural that Jon, when he found proof of his theory, called Lewis with the news. Unfortunately, Lewis wasn't home and missed the call recorded by his home answering machine. When Lewis returned and heard the message he attempted to call Jon back and only got a busy signal. With a sense of excitement he headed over to Jon's house only to find an active crime scene. It was clearly a homicide and Jon was dead. Despite being warned off the case by his old friend and Police Detective, Diane Woods, he begins to work the case.
This report prepared by Kevin R. Tipple
St. Martin's, Jul 2004, 23.95, 272 pp.
In Tyler Beach, New Hampshire, Shoreline Magazine reporter Lewis Cole met Jon Ericson a few times starting with a simple glass of water. They had short discussions mostly centered on the amateur archaeologist's theory that his Viking ancestors had established colonies along New Hampshire's eighteen miles of coastline. Jon's belief goes against accepted theory that the Vikings landed further north. Jon invites Lewis to his home to show him the artifacts that support his unusual theory.
However, when Cole arrives for his meeting with Jon, he learns form his best friend Police Detective Diane Woods that someone killed the amateur archaeologist. Diane, who has ambitions, lectures the civilian Cole to stay out of the investigation. Perhaps it is the journalist's ink that runs throughout his blood, but Cole ignores her warning and makes inquiries starting with the people Jon mentioned to him that he consulted with on his quest. The New Hampshire professor, a historian, and a Native American activist offer little; the victim's vanished brother tenders nothing either. However, his questioning must have hit home because someone tries to kill him by loosening the lug nuts on his car. That incident only inspires Lewis to seek the truth.
This novel is an exhilarating journalist investigative murder mystery that takes off from the moment that Lewis and Jon meet until the final confrontation with the latter's killer. As Lewis traipse throughout New England seeking clues, adding depth with a twist is the historical perspective of the Vikings coming to New Hampshire that coaxes readers to ponder the hypothesis. Fans of an exciting action-packed yet cerebral mystery will enjoy Lewis' latest adventure.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner