Bancroft, Jun 2002, 19.95, 217 pp.
The most famous person from the Lyle, Virginia area was Reilly Heartwood who sang under the moniker of C.C. Hollinger, a legendary country music great. Recently Reilly committed suicide though disbarred attorney Shep Harrington finds discrepancies on what he has learned about the death of his mentor. He cannot understand why there was no autopsy, a relatively tiny medical report, and no police investigation. He also struggles with the question “why now” when Reilly finally promised to reveal a secret to him about Shep's father.
Though burned by the justice system when people perjured and accused him of criminal activity that led to three years of prison before he was exonerated, Shep seeks the truth about Reilly for his own peace of mind and that of the sister of the music superstar. Shockingly, Shep learns he is the prime heir to the multi-million dollar estate. As Shep digs deeper he perilously places himself in the middle of a town divided and on the verge of exploding.
Fans of regional amateur sleuths will take pleasure from Elliot Light's affable who-done-it. The story line combines sub-genre elements with recent historical tidbits such as Poor Farms that make for a powerful background, which in turn enhances the key cast members, especially the hero. The investigation is fun to follow because the evidence Shep finds conflicts between cover-up and suicide making a culprit difficult to identify if one even exists. LONESOME SONG is a delightful tale that will lead the audience to pursue Shep's next mystery, CHAIN THINKING.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner