Monday, April 26, 2010

David Carkeet's FROM AWAY in St. Louis Post-Dispatch

David Carkeet's new comic mystery From Away is reviewed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "For years, David Carkeet taught linguistics and writing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, he lives in Vermont, the setting for his latest mystery novel, "From Away." Although the book centers on the murder of a lusty young woman, much of its tone falls under the category of humor of the absurd.

The result makes for entertaining reading, at least for readers willing to suspend disbelief. You see, the plot hinges on the fact that its hero is a fat Chicagoan who just happens to be in Montpelier, Vt., when the murder happens — and the Chicagoan just happens to be a dead ringer for a Montpelier man who left town without word three years back. The local cops think that the vaguely described Chicagoan is their murderer. But if the Chicagoan can convince everybody that he's really the local boy come back home, he's home free.

Much of the tale centers on the Chicagoan's cleverness in passing himself off to the clannish Vermonters as somebody he knows nothing about. He's glib and quick-witted, and his quirks make him a memorable character. Author Carkeet also shows a sure hand in depicting Vermonters and Vermont, which he calls "this backward state of dirt roads and dial-ups."

Oh, yeah — toward book's end, the comic tone gives in to a sinister twist before the murder finally gets solved. It's a different kind of story told in a different kind of way. If you can accept the premise, I promise you good reading." -Harry Levins

No comments: