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"Granite Harbor" | Reviewed by Pat Sainz

“Granite Harbor” is a fast-paced, police procedural mystery novel made more mysterious and chilling because of the horror taking place in a picturesque small coastal town in Maine. Granite Harbor is the type of place tourists visit to see the gorgeous fall leaves and to visit reenactments of the 1800’s settlement living.

            Alex is a police detective in Granite Harbor. In a complicated way, he has moved to Maine from England with his wife (who is now an ex-wife) and his daughter, now a sullen teen. Formerly a writer with two fairly successful books under his belt, he finds it surprising that his skills as a writer help with his duties as an investigator. Both require astute observation of human behavior.

            Most of Alex’s work is mundane: handling rowdy drunks, quelling an occasional domestic disturbance, or responding to teens parked in cars with suspicious behavior. Alex is respected by his superiors and takes his job seriously even if his investigations are routine and lack drama.

            Things take a sharp and sinister tone when a teen boy is found murdered. His body has been displayed in a public and historic area. The murder has ritualistic aspects to it. When another teen is found murdered in the same way as the first victim, the townspeople realize there is a serial killer among them.

            The murdered teens were close friends, and Alex’s daughter was friends with them. Alex knew the teens and knows their parents.  He even had a relationship with one of them.  When Alex’s daughter goes missing, he and his ex-wife are frantic. The townspeople and Alex’s wife blame Alex for not being able to solve the murders quickly.

            All the citizens of Granite Harbor know each other or are at least familiar with everyone’s face. Still, there are secrets in the small community that are hidden. Many secrets come to light during the murder investigations. False accusations are made which result in catastrophe for some innocent folks. Odd behavior by others contributes to the tense atmosphere that surrounds the town. 

            “Granite Harbor” provides an unforgettable reading experience. Readers who enjoy television shows like “Law and Order” or “CSI” may savor the drama and taut storytelling. Be forewarned that there is a horror component to the novel, and there are descriptions of animal abuse.

            Peter Nichols is the author of “The Rocks” and “Voyage to the North Star.” He lives in Maine.

            Buy the Book.




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