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P. J. Parrish

 

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small-town cops (it's fun to find places like Napoleon, Michigan, in a book!), dedicated nurses, drunken heirs, and corrupt professors. And out there at Hidden Lake in the Irish Hills he meets the incurably ill, the benign and maligned, and the pathological. The conclusion to

the novel — a scream-haunted chase through the tunnels that connect the many buildings of the hospital — is as frightening as one could hope for and certainly deserves to be a summer flick in some future year starring John Malkovich or someone equally scary.

Parrish is good with these effects. But she (or they?) is very good at making each crime Louis Kincaid investigates an aid to his gradual self-discovery. He is always growing in self-awareness and complexity, so each novel becomes an essential step in the aging of the protagonist. Of course the books are more than successful at satisfying whatever that urge is that brings us to murder mysteries, but there is also just a hint of this added dimension.

P. J. Parrish appears in both her bodies to read and discuss An Unquiet Grave at Aunt Agatha's bookstore on Wednesday, July 12.

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