Young Psychologist Mick Callahan was a media superstar, but arrogance and alcoholism ruined his career. Disgraced, he returns home to the dying little town of Dry Wells, Nevada and hosts a funky call-in radio show over Memorial Day weekend. A female caller drops hints about a drug addicted boyfriend who is violent. Mick is less than helpful. Out for a jog that night, Mick finds a dead body and is asked by Sherrif Bates to keep the murder secret.
The next day, when the girl caller (the daughter of a wealthy rancher) also ends up murdered, Mick feels compelled by guilt to investigate her death. He bores in on the town's sordid secrets with the help of Jerry, a local hacker from foster homes, and Mick's wealthy sponsor Hal, who is currently travelling in Europe and communicates via computer monitor. The dead girl's evil family and a gang of redneck toughs get in the way. During the story, Mick is forced to examine his deep insecurities, face memories of an abusive childhood and his deep, unresolved feelings for an old flame. After another murder, the story climaxes Memorial Day evening, with fireworks scorching the sky and Mick Callahan literally running for his life through the deserted western town.
This report prepared by Harry Shannon
Five Star, May 2004, 25.95, 266 pp.
In Beverly Hills, Psychologist Mick Callahan was a media superstar, but let fame get to head as women and booze began to destroy him. He finally reached bottom when he cut off an abused battered woman because he was too busy and as a result of his neglect she died.
Taking his guilt with him and trying to start over, Mick returned home to Dry Wells, Nevada where he has a radio talk show in which no one calls until a woman, who refuses to provide her name so he dubs her “Ophelia”, breaks the silence. She insists she loves an abusive con man and fears for her life. Not long afterward the caller is dead. Though he knows he should mind his business after being warned off by Sheriff Bass over a corpse he found, he obsesses over finding out the truth even if it means his return to Los Angeles is delayed. Though the truth is out there if Mick comes to close to it he will be dead too.
This is an exciting amateur sleuth tale starring a former hedonist who learned first hand the down side of fame. The story line is crisp once Mick begins his inquiries as Harry Shannon insures the audience comprehends how difficult life is for the hero now that he is no longer on top, but instead scratching just to attain the lowest rung of the food chain. Though his own childhood memories seem out of place (even if he is home) within the investigative tale, fans will appreciate Mick's memorable MEMORIAL DAY.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner