Book Review: Death Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka

Death Stalks Door CountyDeath Stalks Door County
A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery #1
Patricia Skalka
Uni. of Wisconsin Press, March 2016
ISBN: 978-0-299-29944-6
Trade Paperback

Dave Cubiak, a former Chicago homicide detective, goes off the rails after his wife and daughter are killed in a freakish accident with a drunk driver. Guilt is eating him alive as he’d blown off a family outing because he’d argued with his wife. Taking refuge in drink himself, the day comes when he can no longer function at his job. Forced to quit, his Chicago partner persuades him to take a job as a park ranger on the Door Peninsula on Lake Michigan. After about three months, the summer season arrives. Hordes of tourists and vacationers arrive to crowd the area.

And so does murder, one right after another. The perpetrator could be anybody and the county sheriff seems, at the behest of the local bigwig, more interested in covering up the crimes than solving them. Cubiak must use all his former talents to work through and find the one with the most lethal motive.

I don’t enjoy reading about alcoholics and their disease. In this case, just as I about got fed up with Cubiak and his problems, he finally broke through, with the aid of a lost child. I found that a nice touch. From this point, the action moved swiftly. I loved the north woods setting and atmosphere. The writing is good, the list of suspects interesting, the environmental aspects well done. I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters, but found them all integral to the story, adding to the entertainment value. I do recommend the book.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2016.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder and Four Furlongs.

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