Fear of Landing
Review: Fear of Landing, by David Waltner-Toews, introduces Abner Dueck, a 35-year-old Canadian large-animal veterinarian, who volunteers to go to Indonesia as a disease investigator for farm animals. What he finds on the beautiful "Spice Islands" are American cows mysteriously dropping dead at odd times and seemingly for no reason. There is a total breakdown of the Indonesian politics, he is told, since the 1966 massacres. The country's rulers, or lack thereof, play an important part in the cattle mystery, plus in the death of two of his friends, one Canadian and one Indonesian.
Abner, unlike the multitudes of the people in Indonesia, lives in splendor. He has a car, and his own home with living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. He makes friends very quickly and trusts everyone. When he does an autopsy on a recently deceased cow, his life becomes endangered. He is not permitted to do that again for fear he would know what and possibly who are killing the cows. He must challenge the attempts of the local merchants to manipulate the diseased cows for their own benefits. He meets and falls in love with a mysterious Chinese girl. The Chinese are not welcome in Indonesia because they are perceived to have too much money and power. When his friend from Canada is killed, he rushes to a fellow veterinarian for help and advice, only to find that he too has been killed also. He goes to the police who say nothing except that his visa has expired and he must be out of the country in five days. In those five days, Abner searches and finds the answers he needs.
Fear of Landing is a book with might and magnetism. The narrative up to and including the solution to the deaths of both the men and the cows is dynamic. Abner Dueck is a wonderful, complex character and, with the combination of exotic locales where he can practice his profession, this promises to be a very intriguing mystery series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Fear of Landing.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Fear of Landing for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Fear of Landing: Indonesia
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Fear of Landing by David Waltner-Toews — An Abner Dueck Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: June 2007
List Price: $24.95