Morrow, Sept 2004, 23.95, 272 pp.
Detective Michael Brody informs private investigator Rachel Alexander that she is the executor of Timothy O'Fallon's will which perplexes her because she doesn't know anyone by that name. By the time she meets with Detective Brody, she remembers that Timothy attended a post-traumatic stress group. She and her therapy dog Dashiell provided assistance to the attendees. What puzzles Rachel is that he only spoke one sentence to her and she never thought Timothy was the type who would have committed suicide.
Brody warns her that Parker Bowling, a man Timothy took into his home to help him out and make a new start in life will contact her to get his things out of the sealed apartment. He's a liar, a con man and a thief according to Brody so Rachael should watch him at all times. When they finally meet, he tells Rachel he is staying at his aunt's house, the same relative the police later find floating in the river. When Rachel and Dashiell pass a dumpster, the dog's training kicks in and Rachel knows she's going to find a dead baby in it. She's right; the dead person is one of Timothy's siblings. Rachel now believes Timothy was murdered by a ruthless person who set Parker up to be the fall guy.
It's been a long time since a Rachel Alexander mystery was published but she's back and better than ever. The heroine never understands why she was made the executor of Timothy's will but she's glad he did it to because she was able to prove he didn't commit suicide. FALL GUY is a well written cerebral mystery where characterization is more important than the action scenes of this complex and multi-layered crime thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner