St. Martin's, Feb 2003, 24.95, 304 pp.
He lives in Key West and makes his living in advertising and magazine articles. His heart is in photography and he sometimes shoots crime scenes when nobody else is available. He is called in to photograph the area of Mayor Steve Gomez's death, which the police are ruling is a suicide.
There's something about the scene that makes Steve think it wasn't a suicide. Hours later, Naomi Douglas is found dead and the medical examiner rules it death by natural causes. Alex finds a strong link between Steve and Naomi, including the fact they both came from the same Indiana hometown. After pleading, cajoling and begging, Alex gets the medical examiner to do an autopsy on Naomi and they discover a massive dose of oxcodone in her bloodstream. Now Alex has to find out what these two people knew that would make somebody want to kill them and then bring that somebody to justice.
OCTOPUS ALIBI is a very clever character study as well as a well-written amateur sleuth novel. The protagonist has all the makings of a good police officer because once he catches the scent, he never stops hunting his prey. Tom Corcoran has written an intricately woven mystery that sub-genre fans will take delight in as they go crazy trying to figure out who the perpetrator is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner