Mysterious Reviews Home

The Alligator Man

by James Sheehan

The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

Review: Roy Johnson gained enormous wealth as the CEO of Dynatron. He left the company with over $100 million just before it went bankrupt and closed its doors leaving all the employees without jobs, their pensions, and health insurance. Johnson and his wife of two years lived in a lovely mansion set back from the road right on the water where the canal opened out onto Florida Bay, amid the serenity of the swamp, the tall pines, the cypress and cedars. When Johnsonís wife reported him missing to Carlisle Buchanan, the local auxiliary police officer, the only representative of the Sheriffís office in Gladestown, he had only been gone one night. Plus, Carlisle was surprised to hear that Johnsonís body guards didnít know his whereabouts. His wife said he liked to have a little wine in the evening and then would take a walk down the road that led to the city. The recent drought caused alligators to cross the road to get from one swamp to the other. Carlisle had been born and raised in Gladestown so he knew all about the canals, rivers and swamp lands. He even had his own airboat. In his search for Johnson, Carlisle found a couple of pieces of clothing that Johnsonís wife identified as his, plus his wallet. When this information became publish, the press immediately dubbed the missing Johnson as The Alligator Man, a stand-alone legal thriller by James Sheehan.

Soon thereafter a witness reported seeing Johnson hit by a car, his body flung into the swamp. The man arrested for the crime was Billy Fuller. He drove the type of car that was seen, plus he had motive. He had lost over $700,000 in pension money when the plant closed, His wife was ill and without insurance he couldn't afford to pay for her care. She died not long after. Then he lost his home when the mortgage company foreclosed on it. He had two sons in school and he was devastated. Kevin Wylie, a criminal attorney just fired from his job in Miami, had come north to be with his father, Tom, who was dying. Tom believed in Billyís innocence and together they took over the case: Tom from home and Kevin in the courtroom.

The Alligator Man is a strong, character-driven novel. Kevin Wylie and his father are particularly well-drawn, the former shining in his courtroom scenes, with an overbearing judge and a steady stream of witnesses, who appear to make Kevin's job all but impossible. (Though presumably a stand-alone, readers would cheer if the author brought back Kevin Wylie in another case.) The supporting characters do a fine job in rounding out cast. The plotline is credible and filled with plenty of twists and turns that one expects to find during a complex legal case. A deeply moving storyline from both a familial and legal perspective, this is one of the best thrillers of the year.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Alligator Man.

Acknowledgment: Susan Schwartzman Public Relations provided a copy of The Alligator Man for this review.

Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: The Lawyer's Lawyer by James SheehanThe Lawyer's Lawyer
Center Street (Hardcover), January 2013
ISBN-13: 9781455508662; ISBN-10: 1455508667

Location(s) referenced in The Alligator Man: Florida

— ♦ —

The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

The Alligator Man by

Publisher: Center Street
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-4555-0864-8
Publication Date:
List Price: $23.00

Buy the Book (purchase options)

— ♦ —

Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites