Fogland Point, by Doug Burgess
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release Date: August 21, 2018
David Hazard wanted nothing more than to forget his renegade family and the foggy New England village “on the wrong side” of Narragansett Bay where he grew up. When sudden tragedy brings him back to Little Compton to care for his grandmother during her struggle with dementia, he discovers her fragile memories may hold the key to a bizarre mystery half a century old – and perhaps to the sudden and brutal murder right next door.
Once Chief of Police Billy Dyer names her as a witness, Grandma Maggie’s recollections become vital. But can they be trusted, especially in a town where everyone has a secret, including David himself?
The investigation stalls. Then eccentric millionaire Marcus Rhinegold’s yacht disappears into the fog, bodies begin to wash ashore, and Maggie’s stories come vividly to life, setting off a chain of events both horrifying and hauntingly familiar. Puritans, gun-runners, Mafiosi, and a rogues’ gallery from past and present converge in the mists of the bay, challenging Billy with layers of deception. On Christmas Eve, he enlists David in a daring move to uncover the many truths surrounding Fogland Point.
Don’t you just love it when the right book comes along at just the right time?
Fogland Point was that book for me. I had been looking for something a little surprising and a little unexpected, and I figured a good whodunnit might be just the thing. Thank goodness I picked this one up, because it delivered on both counts. Not only that, it was smart, funny and lovely.
In other words, it was all that and a bag of chips. I’m sure the kids still say that, right? No? Oh well, you get idea.
At it’s heart, this book is actually a love story with some humour, murder and a whole lot of mystery thrown in for good effect. There is romantic love, familial love, the enduring love of friends and the love of home. It also part ghost story part history lesson, and the fact that it succeeds at being all these things is a testament to the author’s talent.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much Ioved all the characters in this book. David with his courage and patience, Billy with his open-heart and open mind, Grandma Maggie and her dignity, and Constance and Irene with their kindness and iron-willed determination. They were all marvelous.
I don’t think I’ve read a mystery quite like this one before, but I certainly hope more of them are out there. In the meantime, I hope people who don’t normally read this genre will take a chance on Fogland Point. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Doug Burgess grew up in a small town just across the bay from Little Compton, where his family has lived for over 350 years. He has authored numerous books on maritime history, including Engines of Empire: Steamships and the Victorian Imagination (Stanford University Press, 2016) and The Politics of Piracy(University Press of New England, 2015). He has also published short fiction in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and other periodicals. Burgess is a professor of history in Manhattan.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel courtesy of NetGalley