June/July 1998

A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard

Phillip R. Craig
Scribner 1998, 288pp
ISBN: 0-684-83454-5

review by Harriet Klausner

He did a tour in Nam and was a Boston cop before a bullet forced him to retire. Now, J.W. Jackson enjoys the slow pace of his new home on Martha's Vineyard where he can fish, catch crabs, and just relax. He is proud to be married to the beautiful Zee and loves his three month old son. When Hollywood decides to film a pirate's movie at the Vineyard, movie scout Barton Delwood enters J.W.'s life. Delwood makes no secret of his interest in Zee, forcing J.W. to control his growing need to beat the guy up.

However, J.W. fails to contain his anger when he meets Lawrence Ingalls. He takes a public swing at the Environmental Protection Agent, who closed the beaches to all terrain vehicles in order to protect an endangered species of bird. The next time J.W. meets Lawrence, he finds the man dead. J.W. knows that he is prime suspect number one and in an election year, he could easily be swept away before the real killer is found.

The knowledge and love that Phillip R. Craig feels for Martha's Vineyard can be felt on every page of A Shoot On Martha's Vineyard. Although this is the ninth entry in the series, the book retains an ocean freshness as each novel manages to renew the wonder of the land and its people. The story line is more of a mood piece with social issues playing a central role as opposed to an action thriller . The recurring characters are sharply drawn and clearly defined, which is superb for old fans as well as new readers who need to understand the players. This novel is a beautiful installment in a wondrous series that makes even murder seem like part of life's rhythms.

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