Reviews of Fraterfamilias (2006)
From the moment the curly dark headed Celtic man steps off the airplane at JFK to his encounter with Detective James Harper in the concourse, the reader will be spell bound. Peter Ferrer has woven an intriguing story between the mysterious traveler and the detective in the prologue that leaves the reader begging for more.
The mystery, the intrigue and the history of the long lifers keeps the reader riveted to the story with some surprises about Pavy and his family. How old are they really and how did they come to be long lifers? Are there more of them? If they are so long lived, what didn’t they amass a wealth instead of living the life of poverty?
The premise of this novel is good and the back-stories fill in the lives of two men who are cousins, or are they brothers? That is what the detectives want to know as well as why a body was stolen. Then there is the mysterious man who desperately wants to get his hands on them.
Of course, the reader also wants to have questions answered. Just who are these long lifers? What is the real meaning behind the powdered perimeter in the apartment and why keep a painting that is a dead giveaway to the main character’s age. Then there is the question of how can brothers be from two different countries? Why does our “hero” have such close ties to the frozen waste of Siberia? And how close was he really to Pavya’s wife?
The entire story moves along, answering all the questions but also leaving the possibility of a sequel. Fraterfamilias is a mixture of Sci-Fi and mystery but could be a mystery with a hint of Sci-Fi. The characters are not perfect as they have their failures and successes as well as their own frailties such as asthma and poor eyesight but when the last line is at last read, you feel these brothers are your family and you want to read more.