Welcome to Rocky Bluff, California. Things aren’t as quiet and peaceful as they may first appear; tensions just beneath the surface are threatening to snap.
Stuart Honich, mortician and embalmer, is having vampiric fantasies of biting and killing his employer’s bratty kids. They have no respect for Stuart or the dead. Things just haven’t been the same since Mr. Taussig passed and his wife’s brother took over.
Liz Phelan has a secret lover, Officer Ryan Stickland. When her actions result in the loss of the one person she truly loves, Liz is teetering on the edge and could take the ambitious Ryan with her.
When the lives of police officers Doug, Al, and Ryan become entwined with those of Stuart and Liz none of them will walk away unscathed.
Final Respects is a police procedural set in Rocky Bluff, California. The town has grown and is no longer the sleepy rancher/tourist haven it once was. In the not too distant past only one murder was committed during a ten year span. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Growth and the resultant crime have left their indelible marks on Rocky Bluff.
Final Respects focuses on three cops, Doug, Al, and Ryan.
Doug has always wanted to be in law enforcement. He’s living his dream. A beautiful wife, Kerrie, two great kids, and a quaint Victorian they’ve been working on and turning into a home. The fly in Doug’s ointment is that Kerrie hates his job. She’s always irritable and angry at him.
Al is married to Barbara, the quintessential policeman’s wife. Barbara is proud of what Al does and supports him 100%. Their three sons follow their mother’s lead. Al is jovial and, thanks to Barbara’s cooking, a bit on the overweight side. Al is Doug’s best friend and Doug keeps hoping Barbara’s attitude will rub off on Kerrie.
Ryan is model handsome and a media hound. If reporters are there, so is Ryan. He doesn’t intend to stay a patrolman for long. He has ambitions. Ryan makes a decision that will change all their lives.
In the style of McBain and Shannon, the Rocky Bluff PD series switches between the work and personal lives of the characters; the main difference being Final Respects concentrates on the patrol cops rather than the detectives.
I was quickly drawn into the lives of the men who’ve chosen to “protect and serve.” The characters are realistic and engaging. Final Respects reads fast and clean thanks to a spare style that doesn’t rely on extraneous filler and perfect pacing that neither drags nor moves too quickly. There’s a lot of action and emotion in Final Respects. Courtesy of some of the character’s thoughts and realizations at the end I’m looking forward to the next in the series. Really want to see if those thoughts and realizations materialize into deeds.
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