First, I'd like to pay tribute to Jan Berenstain, who passed away earlier this week. She and her husband wrote a fine series of children's books, gently reinforcing lessons about life, with the lovable Berenstain Bears delivering the messages in fun ways. I hope their sons are willing and able to carry on this nice tradition.
This week's book is a Kindle book, which was on sale for "free".
The Last Time
by David Fulmer
est. 250 pages; c. 2009
Richard Zale is an actor in TV commercials, living in NYC with his wife and two young daughters. One morning, while reading the newspaper, he learned that a song which had been significant to him in early adolescence was to be used in advertising. His wife shrugged off his upset, noting that this is the way he earns his living. However, this article caused Richard to call his childhood best friend, Joey Sesto. Unable to locate a phone number for Joey, Richard called Joey's sister Angela for the number; Angela responded that Joey had committed suicide by jumping off a cliff.
Upset by this news, Richard contemplated his friend's death, and concluded that there must be more to it than suicide, since Joey had always greatly feared heights. So, Richard rented a car and headed west on I-80 toward Wyanossing, Pennsylvania, to see for himself what happened. From the question of Joey's death arose more questions for Richard, among them what Joey was researching in the town library for hours on end, whose white Sable was following him as he drove around town, what his old stoner pal Louie might know about Joey's demise, and who was this outsider sheriff who was appearing wherever Richard might be?
This book was obviously written by someone who was from this area of Pennsylvania; his descriptions of the area around the Delaware Water Gap, the terrain and valley in which his town were situated and details such as buying wine from the State Store, a six pack from a restaurant, and referencing schools closing for the opening day of deer season were not something you'd know if you lived in, say, New York. This was a good book, with logical character development and nice back stories of each character's childhood or adolescence and how they related to each other. As I find typical of many e-books, there were a couple of blank pages, but whatever was missing didn't detract from the book. This was no Poirot mystery, but it was a good contemporary mystery story. I think you'd enjoy it.