enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Roger Stelljes, Deadly Stillwater

I read this book about 14-Sep-2016. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2010. This note was last modified Friday, 16-Sep-2016 19:11:04 PDT.

This is book 3 of the "Mac McRyan" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Local setting, local small press (but nice hardcover). The library presumably makes an effort for local books. Not the first book of the series, it's another stumble-upon thing at the library.

This was cleaner and better plotted than most of my experimental mysteries. And the series is up to 6 books, all with matching pro-quality covers. Hope it's doing well for the author!

Having the bad guys ahead of the cops for most of the book was nicely done. That provided clues, and at one point it provided the clue that broke it—the kidnappers "ripped out" of their safe house just minutes after the call came in reporting it as suspicious, thus proving they had an inside source. (Also, amusingly, the identity of the source was discovered by a TV journalist and given to the cops.) Having information coming from different directions was nicely handled.

The method of safely storing and either handing over or disposing of the captires was also clever. Bury 'em in a nice wood coffin with air-holes. You can be well away when you send the police there, or if you don't send the police there they're pretty well disposed of. Except, the air vents mean the smell of decomposition would probably be noticed; but by then it doesn't really matter. This needs a sufficiently isolate area—say an old family farm that backs up on the part of a park that nobody goes to.

The police do manage to find them; a significant part of it is from enhancing a receipt sticking out of one of the PCV pipes in a video. Haven't spent time with video a lot the last two years, I'm skeptical, despite the suggestion that the software expert wrote special software.

Not happy that the police decided to beat information out of the FBI mole, or that it worked, or that nobody is especially upset (let alone outraged) afterwards. The emotional stakes were very very high, children of close friends of the cops doing it, plus anger at the FBI guy working with the bad guys, but the lesson to be taught there is that emotional involvement will make you do stupid stuff that might very well cause you to fail. This book instead seems to have chosen to glorify it (and then, later, sneer at the FBI guy for being too easily intimidated).

The title is shown as two words on the cover; "Stillwater" being an important town near here, for those reading this who don't know the Twin Cities area.

Still, quite a favorable overall impression, and I'm looking for the previous two books in the series, and quite possibly the later three after that.


[dd-b] [dd-b's books] [book log] [RSS] [sf] [mystery] [childhood] [nonfiction]
[dd-b] [site status] [pit]

David Dyer-Bennet