Wiley, Michael - 'Blue Avenue'
Jacksonville, Florida, USA. William Byrd, known as BB, runs four gas stations that he inherited from his father. Married to Susan they have a teenage son Thomas. He receives a call from Daniel Turner, a police lieutenant who was a school friend. He wants BB to identify an ex-girlfriend of his, Belinda Mabry. She has been found murdered, tied-up and naked in a plastic refuse bag.
BB last saw Belinda twenty-five years ago and they parted in difficult and unhappy circumstances. When identifying her he learns that there have already been two similar murders, both of these victims were prostitutes.
BB's background is one of a tough uncompromising local character. He was befriended by an elderly but equally tough character Charles Tucker. BB hasn't seen him for eight years but phones for his help in investigating these deaths.
He learns that Belinda's brother Bobby (who was cruelly treated at school because he was gay) is in town with Belinda's son Terence. Further investigations reveal that there was a weekend party in Jamaica and Belinda and the two prostitutes were the guests of various local dignitaries. At this party the young daughter of a known villain was killed.
Further deaths seem to incriminate BB and put him and his family in danger.BLUE AVENUE is a well written thriller. The ending is particularly surprising and horrific. You do have to suspend belief occasionally, but some good humour makes up for this. Very well recommended.
Geoff Jones, England
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