A Cal Henderson Mystery by Robert Palmer
Review: Twenty-five years after a horrendous murder/suicide in his family, the past comes returns with a vengeance to psychologist Cal Henderson in The Survivors, the first mystery in this series by Robert Palmer.
As a young boy, Davie Oakes's father, two older brothers and his best friend Scottie Glass were shot, presumably by Davie's mother, who then committed suicide while Davie watched by helplessly from an upstairs window. His father and brothers died, but Scottie, although badly wounded by a shot in his head, lived. Davie subsequently went to live with his aunt and uncle, and changed his name to Cal Henderson. He put the memories of the deaths behind him. He grew to become a psychologist in Washington, D. C. with a thriving practice helping others with their difficult times in their lives. Occasionally he would reflect back to that horrible day and these memories would cause him black out.
Now he has no choice but to face what happened. Scottie has tracked his old friend down and brings his suspicions of what really happened. He does not believe that Cal's mother could have shot his father and her sons or killed herself. He has found information about Cal's mother that was unknown to him. But the FBI knew all along and now they are on the look-out for Scottie. Scottie has multiple problems stemming from the gunshot wound to his head, one being a quick temper. But he is also a genius and adept at using technology. He expects, indeed insists, that Cal help him because after all it was Cal's family he was researching. Finding answers to Scottie's unanswered questions may be the key to solving the mystery of what happened so long ago. Why did Cal's mother murder her family and then commit suicide? Or did she? Why is the FBI interested? Before they are able to act on the results of their findings, they become the targets of mysterious people from Cal's mother's past. Can both outrun them and stay alive?
There is a lot of exciting intrigue in The Survivors. The plot has the requisite number of twists and turns involving corporate espionage, politicians looking after their own interests first, office break-ins, and more, but it is readily followed and keeps the reader's attention. The supporting characters are an interesting and diverse group, and it's sometimes not clear what side they're playing for, generally a good element for a mystery. Overall, a solid start to this new series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Survivors.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided an ARC of The Survivors for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Survivors: Washington D.C.
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The Survivors by Robert Palmer — A Cal Henderson Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2015
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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