Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Review: Deadly Pleasures by Mary Firmin
Megan Riley is sunbathing with her friends on a ninety-foot yacht docked at The Bayside Yacht Club. The majestic boat belongs to Alexander’s husband, Charlie Grant. Rachel Feinman makes a remark that causes Megan to sit up in amazement. Alex just laughs, never dreaming she’s seriously suggesting that they rent a timeshare boytoy. Helen Jennings, club gossip, climbs aboard to tell them that one of their own, George Fisher, has died of a heart attack while with a hooker—under, to be more precise. This sends Rachel into hysterical laughing at the imagery of the ‘unhooking’. Katherine Rosario, arriving late, boards the ‘Ecstasea’ and scolds them for laughing. The four friends all have problems; Megan’s a recovering alcoholic, Katherine suffers over her divorce from her philandering husband, Gino. Rachel catches her screen writer husband cheating on her on their own boat, and Alex’s older husband is not what she wants in a man. A boytoy starts to sound like a plan.
Detective Matt Donavan, LAPD, drops by the yacht club to investigate the murder of Sherrie Weston, the hooker who was with George when he died. Megan’s drawn to his handsome dark Irish looks—blue eyes and curly dark hair. He doesn’t garner much info from the rich who tend to protect their own. Dr. Tom Wilson, Medical Examiner, calls him to another crime scene and informs him that the slain hooker, Sherrie Weston, has the same MO as The Bondage Murder of Allison Graham. Matt’s partner, Angelle Bentley, an exotic Haitian beauty, joins the discussion, surprising the men with her professionalism in the face of such raw carnage.
Matt and Angelle check out a gruesome bondage magazine with a name written on it—Michael Harrington. While interviewing Sherrie’s neighbor, old Mrs. Zuckerman, they learn that a young man had visited Sherrie the day before her murder. She has a package the UPS driver left with her for Sherrie; full of porn DVD’s she swears she never opened. Matt has no real leads in the case until he gets wind of a similar murder in San Francisco which looks to him like a ‘serial sexual sadist’. The sad facts that all three women were hookers keep their cases from drawing much attention.
After a hilarious afternoon at the Power Workout, sizing up muscular hunks as a potential boytoy, the four friends decide Michael Harrington is perfect for their needs. They are unaware that he is the main suspect in the Bondage Murders. Michael agrees to their plan and now it’s a matter of who goes first. Megan decides it’s too much money and tears up her check, but mostly because her mind drifts to Matt Donavan. Rachel goes first without telling the others and Kathleen, shy and timid goes next on a dare from the rest—resulting in amazing, certainly unexpected results.
Author, Mary Fimin brings her heavily-plotted action-packed story to a climatic close. This story is layered with plots within plots, keeping the reader mystified right up to the ending. This is a must-read for those who enjoy unusual suspense with even more unusual characters, who bring comic relief to bizarre situations. Firmin’s sense of the ironic and ridiculous make her book a winner.
Reviewer: Micki Peluso, writer, journalist and author of . . . And The Whippoorwill Sang