Friday, January 08, 2010

Mystery Book Review: Wyatt's Revenge by H. Terrell Griffin

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Wyatt's Revenge by H. Terrell Griffin. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Wyatt's Revenge by H. Terrell Griffin

by
A Matt Royal Mystery

Oceanview Publishing (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-933515-53-8 (1933515538)
ISBN-13: 978-1-933515-53-3 (9781933515533)
Publication Date: November 2009
List Price: $24.95

Review: When retired attorney Matt Royal's friend Laurence Wyatt is murdered in his home, execution-style, Matt wants some answers, and goes about getting them in his own inimitable way in Wyatt's Revenge the fourth mystery in this series by H. Terrell Griffin.

Wyatt was a history professor at a local university, and enjoyed a quiet life. But Matt soon links his friend's murder to that of another historian, with whom Wyatt had been corresponding. The common thread between the two is an inquiry about the Vichy Regime, the government in France during the German occupation of World War II. Matt sets off for Germany to learn more -- with his own inquiries putting a target squarely on his back by an unknown group of men who would rather this particular chapter in history remain unread.

Wyatt's Revenge is, for the most part, a rousing adventure, filled with international intrigue and feats of derring-do. But it is probably best enjoyed if one is willing to overlook some questionable aspects of the plot. Like why no one, not even Matt's friend the police chief, seems overly concerned by the trail of bodies left in Matt's wake, most at his hand, and numbering well into the double digits -- all justified deaths, to be sure, but covered up nonetheless. Or why official government aircraft can be unquestionably used for several trans-Atlantic crossings on missions that are purely personal in nature, but Matt and his buddies have to use public transport within the US to mask their identities. And so on ... and on. None of these issues really detract from the story in any meaningful way, but one wonders if some of the more obvious ones couldn't have been addressed in a more clever manner.

And it must be said that Wyatt's Revenge is truly a guy's thriller, replete with multiple passages on male bonding and friendship, and why men risk their lives for each other, expecting nothing more than a handshake in thanks in return, and maybe not even that. The only female in the book is frequently called the "pretty lady", and apparently the criminal pursuit of wealth and power is not an equal opportunity activity; all the bad guys are, in fact, guys. On the plus side, it keeps Matt from having to kill a women; it's unclear how he would handle himself in that situation.

Special thanks to Oceanview Publishing for providing a copy of Wyatt's Revenge for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): On balance, retired trial lawyer turned-beach bum Matt Royal is a pretty laid-back fellow. But when Laurence Wyatt, one of Matt's best friends, is murdered, Matt trades in his easygoing ways for a hard-hitting quest for revenge.

Matt knows the Longboat Key police will do their job in investigating. But for Matt, finding Wyatt's killer isn't a job; it's personal.

Determined to do whatever it takes to solve Wyatt's murder, Matt takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a clandestine investigation. Soon, Matt finds himself in hot pursuit of a cadre of remorseless criminals and trained killers, but the tables turn and Matt becomes the pursued. Faced with mounting danger, Matt calls for backup from his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton.

Matt Royal would go to the ends of the earth to exact revenge for Wyatt's murder, but will he go outside the law?

Expect the unexpected in this wild and dangerous ride from Longboat Key, Florida, to Frankfurt, Germany, because hell hath no fury like Matt Royal scorned.

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