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Epitaph a novel by James Siegel

Thriller by James Siegel

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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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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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About this book


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, used to work for an investigative agency, the Three Eyes, whose clients were either from the city or had settled in south Florida. The problem at hand is that some people who left their longtime New York abodes for Florida never arrived there. Where are they, and what happened to them? Jean Goldblum, deceased, one of William's former partners in the Three Eyes agency, had been working on the "biggest case of his life," and now William must come out of retirement to try to pick up the pieces. William only has Jean's list of names of the missing people to work with. "Follow the list, William, it's all you have," our hero says to himself. As the layers are stripped bit by bit, and oh, so slowly, we learn that this case has roots in the past, when Nazi Germany controlled much of Europe. Jean had always been known as an underground hero from World War II; could it be that his reputation is undeserved? As William moves from clue to clue, he uncovers more than one startling secret. In a denouement as frightening as a medieval torture chamber, William fights for his life. Is this Williams's last case, or will he return in another adventure? Either way, readers will be satisfied. (June 5)won many industry awards. ...
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ISBN-10: 0446678708 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 978-0446678704 (pbk.)
Author: James Siegel
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Date Published: February 2, 2003
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