Book Review: Scrafitto by Steve Scarborough

Steve Scarborough
Dark Oak Mysteries, July 2011
ISBN 9781610090216
Trade Paperback

Welcome to sunny, idyllic Quepos, Costa Rica! The beach is full of tanned bodies, the Pacific Ocean beckons, the mountain scenery includes an active volcano. Just beware of scorpions, caiman, and…murder. In his debut mystery, Scarborough brings blood and violence to paradise. The burden to find the killer falls upon one man who just wants to leave his past behind, but when have you ever seen THAT happen?

Ex-homicide investigator Mitch Sharp is happy doing landscape and tourism photography. He has a few friends and a new love interest. But when someone starts attacking women, slashing bodies and spattering blood, Mitch is slowly drawn in to investigate. His obstacles: a lackadaisical police chief, a gung-ho hotel contractor worried about tourism, his own struggle with anger management, and, most important, no leads. Aided by a group of artist friends, Mitch starts gathering evidence. The attacks escalate to murder and his friends are, one one one, falling victim. Mitch must rely on his skills as a photographer and a former investigator to find the killer.

When an author knows the subject matter, in this particular story, photography/art, the book is that much more interesting. This has a little bit of everything. A foreign locale, scenery, a little romance, unique characters, plus, the all important murder mystery. The descriptions spark the imagination and the action brings you to the brink of tension. Scraffito is a fine first effort by a an author worth keeping your eye on.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, March 2012.
Author of Night Shadows and Beta.