Saturday, July 14, 2018

Book Review: 'Wolf's Clothing: A Moriah Dru and Richard Lake mystery (Moriah Dru & Richard Lake Book 7)' by Gerrie Ferris Finger

Gerrie Ferris Finger is a successful novelist who makes her increasing popular books flow so easily that they read like afternoon diversions. Searching for some information about her, we find she grew up in Missouri, moved into the South to be on the staff as a journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, researching and editing humorist (and her mentor) Lewis Grizzard's columns as well as her own columns. Moving the rank of Southern Task Force, she served as a reporter, traveling the Tobacco Roads of Georgia, Virginia and Alabama, and the narrow, historic streets of New Orleans. `I wrote about Natchez, Mississippi's unique history, Florida's diverse population, and the Outer Banks struggle to keep the Cape Hatteras light house from toppling into the sea. I served on the National News Desk and on the City Desk's City Life section. When I retired, I knew I would write crime fiction. I covered crime for the newspaper. Real crime is sordid, with no romance or redeeming features. Justice often doesn't prevail. Real people go back to miserable lives. In writing fictional crime, I can make the good guys winners and give the bad guys what they deserve.' Finger's personality comes through here as it does in her approach to mystery novels such as WOLF’S CLOTHING. She lives on the coast of Georgia.

This novel WOLF’S CLOTING is number seven in The Moriah Dru/Richard Lake mystery series – THE END GAME, THE DEVIL LAUGHED, MURMURS OF INSANITY, RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD, AMERICAN NIGHTS - a compelling series, and while one would expect prior reading of the first novels mandatory to enjoying the third, Finger is so adept at filling in the interstices that all the information needed is subtly supplied. The tenants of the story have been well described: `Atlanta’s famous police dog, Buddy, is stolen from his handler’s SUV. The community howls in anguish over the canine’s disappearance, and soon A.P.D. Lieutenant Richard Lake is on the hunt with his lover, P.I. Moriah Dru.The trail leads to an investment scam, dubbed The Wolves of Atlanta, and a mega-church’s finances. As they dig deeper, the bodies begin piling up, reminding them of the old adage, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”’

Gerrie manages to keep us engaged from page one and the interaction between Moriah and Richard remains at just the right balance. ‘Detective Lieutenant Richard Lake charged through the back door into the kitchen. “I’ve been trying to call you.” I faced him. “What a greeting. I was in court,” I said in defense of myself. “The in camera hearing, don’t you remember? Portia doesn’t tolerate cell calls in her chambers. When I left the courthouse, I forgot to turn—” He waved his hands. “Get your bag, gun too, we’ve got a situation. Buddy’s been stolen.” As he headed for the fridge to grab a beer, a handsome German shepherd popped into my mind. My voice caught in my throat. “Buddy? Stolen?” Turning for the dining room where my handbag lay on the table, gun in a pocket made for it, I heard the fizz of the beer bottle opening behind me. Lake stood in the doorway. “Buddy was taken from Parker’s vehicle while he went inside a store at Phipps Plaza.” Parker was Buddy’s handler. “How could someone steal a police dog?” “Drugging him,” Lake said and chugged half the liquid in the green bottle.’ It really is to the readers benefit to read all installments in this series, but then again Gerrie is such a fine writer that the suspense and mystery are solid enough to make this a standalone novel. Grady Harp, June 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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