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Epitaph: A Novel

1 rating: 4.0
Thriller by James Siegel

Sometimes it's pleasant to read a tale that unfolds slowly and methodically like the layers of an onion. This first novel is such a story. Retired detective and senior citizen William (never Bill, Billy or Willy) Riskin, a New Yorker through and through, … see full wiki

Author: James Siegel
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Date Published: February 2, 2003
1 review about Epitaph: A Novel

Slow Paced by Well Written

  • May 11, 2009
  • by
Having read Derailled and Detour I thought I would try Siegel's earlier book. It is very different and painfully slow paced. A retired detective (William) reads about a former co-worker's death in the newspaper and decides to go to his funeral. When he gets there and looks in the casket, he sees something about his friend (Jean) that makes him want to visit his friend's apartment house.

At the funeral he meets Jean's super who tells him he has a photo he wants William to have. He goes to the super's apartment and something about the photo makes William track down some information that was in a box of Jean's personal effects which later makes William talk to Jean's neighbor (Mr. Weeks) who gives him a file. Jean decides to track down a bunch of names of people listed in the file to addresses in Florida.

As the book progresses William keeps following one lead after another to seemingly dead ends for no apparent reason. Obviously the reader knows there is a reason because that is why there is a book but the reason never manifests itself till about 300 pages into the book.

The book may be slow paced but it interesting just the same. It shows that someone with a detective's sense should trust their instinct to help them discover clues and be relentless in pursuing them. It is only because of the slow pace that I didn't give the book 5 stars.

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