by Brendan Dubois
Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0-312-32731-5
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kevin Tipple
As this fifth Lewis Cole mystery opens, Lewis is attending a funeral service for his friend, Jon Ericson. Lewis recently met Jon Ericson as Jon was walking on the beach below Lewis’ seaside home. Jon was looking for Viking coins and other artifacts that would prove his controversial theory that the Vikings arrived in New Hampshire and vicinity long before European explorers and settlers. The two men over a short period of time became good friends.
So it was only natural that Jon, when he found proof of his theory, called Lewis with the news. Unfortunately, Lewis wasn’t home and missed the call recorded by his home answering machine. When Lewis returned and heard the message he attempted to call Jon back and only got a busy signal. With a sense of excitement he headed over to Jon’s house only to find an active crime scene. It was clearly a homicide and Jon was dead. Despite being warned off the case by his old friend and Police Detective, Diane Woods, he begins to work the case. In so doing, he learns more about himself than he ever expected as well as how far people will go to keep intact a certain way of history.
While introspective at numerous times through out the 258-page novel, this time out Lewis Cole is more active and more of a cold vigilante than we have seen in the past four novels. Diane, as mentioned above, is back again with a further complication in her life as well as the contradictory and complex character Felix Tinios. But front and center and clearly more so than the past books is Lewis Cole and his sense of justice.
Lewis always had a strong sense of justice. But as each novel moves forward from the nightmare of his past, he has been more and more wiling to use whatever means are necessary to accomplish his task. In so doing, the character is evolving, some would argue de-evolving, in that he no longer sees the world in black and white terms. His world has gone gray and now anything goes.
Lewis reacts as just about anyone capable to investigate would to the death of his new friend. What sets him apart, besides his considerable background covered in the preceding novels (“Killer Waves,” “Shattered Shell,” “Black Tide,” and “Dead Sand”) is his unique collection of friends and his ability to apply his Defense Department analyzing skills to the problems of friends and family. It is also interesting to watch the dichotomy of his need to avenge Jon’s death and locate the killer which is done out of friendship compared to his refusal to honor his friendship with Diane who strongly needs him to stay out of the case for numerous personal reasons. Friendship is a card played over and over again by Lewis throughout this entire novel and he isn’t the only one doing it.
There is a reason why this author is consistently nominated and bestowed the Shamus Award and others. His writing, with this series and outside it, is consistently strong with detailed and motivated characters pushed to their limits in complex tales that mirror everyman. His writing is excellent, his characters are real, and his tales resonate within long after the book is closed.
Buried Dreams: A Lewis Cole Mystery
By Brendan Dubois
Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN # 0-312-32731-5
Kevin R. Tipple ©2004