|Kiss (1988) [Novel]|
by John Lutz
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Series: Fred Carver
(From the publisher):
Every year hundreds of people retire to Florida, seeking some ease in their golden years. Lots of sun, a little golf, no worries: the good life is there for the asking.
Unless you live at Sunhaven Retirement Home, where the leading cause of death is murder.
Or so says Kearny Williams, who feels convinced that his friend Sam Cusanelli's death was not from "natural causes." At first, private eye Fred Carver isn't sure what to make of the story; Sunhaven residents tend to be vague, even a little confused. But it is soon clear that Sunhaven is a maze of deception, a house of mirrors where the outside world is crazily reflected and distorted. It's also an insular community operating under its own set of laws. And its members do not appreciate outsiders nosing around.
Not Dr. Lee Macklin, Sunhaven's administrator, whose cooly efficient reign is precariously balanced against a hidden private life. Not head nurse, Nora Rule, of whom the residents seem oddly afraid. Not Dan Pauly, the young staff doctor; earnest, friendly -- but with some unsavory friends. Least of all Birdie Reeves, the teenage receptionist. Delicate, vulnerable Birdie is in hiding from a horrifying past, and elicits in Carver unexpectedly tender feelings. He vows to protect her from further violence and tragedy.
But there is another death at Sunhaven, as well as interference by Carver's old memsis, Police Lieutenant McGregor. And casting a shadow over it all is the towering figure of Raphael Ortiz, a ruthless, sadistic Marielito who somehow appears at the end of every trail Carver pursues. His precise connection to Sunhaven is maddeningly elusive -- and he'll stop at nothing to keep it that way.
In what proves to be one of the most shocking cases of his career, Carver is forced to confront some personal demons -- and to pray that he'll live long enough to grow old.
Original title: Kiss
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Private Detective