Authors Showcase: Murmurs of Insanity by Gerris Ferris Finger
October 30, 2014
The Book: Murmurs of Insanity
The Author: Gerrie Ferris Finger
The Story: Teen Johndro Phillips is missing after witnessing a drug deal turned to murder in his Atlanta neighborhood. Johndro is a spotter and runner for drug lord Devus Dontel “Big DD” McFersen, who was acquitted when Johndro couldn’t testify against himself. McFersen’s bangers shoot at Dru as a warning to stay out of their business.
Lake asks Dru to talk to his ex-wife, Linda, about Baxter Carlisle. Seems her half-brother’s predilection for young women has gotten him mixed up with the student art community. Damian Hansel is missing and his girlfriend, Cho Martine, accused Baxter of stalking her.
Dru finds Baxter altogether too proper to stalk a young women. At his restaurant, she meets his mid-thirties son, Oliver, the product of his union with an underage teen. Dru also meets Bax’s lawyer, Anthony. She learns that Baxter possesses one of the world’s most expensive doll collections.
Damian and his friend Arne Trammel had devised a Performance Art presentation meant to shake-up the tranquil community. Articles of Damian’s are found on nature trails, and, absent a body, the police think it’s a treasure hunt. Dru thinks not. The presentation goes awry when Arne is found hanged and Cho disappears.
In the middle of that investigation, Dru is called back to Atlanta to find Johndro. Following a search and rescue dog’s nose, she locates where Johndro and his cousin have been hidden by a neighborhood storeowner. Hell breaks loose in a neighborhood where gun battles are routine.
About Gerrie Ferris Finger:
Retired journalist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Gerrie Ferris Finger won the 2009 St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel for The End Game. The Last Temptation is the second in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake series.
She lives on the coast of Georgia with her husband and standard poodle, Bogey. www.gerrieferrisfinger.com
Review by SAX: This is a light mystery novel with an intricate web of clues. It’s easy to read and full of complicated, quirky characters. It starts off a bit slowly, but eventually all the details come into play and make sense.
Dru is a no nonsense woman who has made a career out of finding missing children. An ex-cop, she uses her Atlanta and Athens connections to get the information she needs and is good at her job. She always seems to be one step ahead of the cops in her investigations.
She doesn’t normally take cases that are over eighteen years old, but she makes an exception to try to find Damian, a pretentious artist connected to the mysterious Cho Martine. A well-known and wealthy restaurateur is implicated in the case, which leads her down a few twisted paths.
I have not read any of the other books in this series but had no problem relating to the characters. I assume that there is more information about Dru and Detective Lake but this book felt complete as it is. The characters are peculiar but interesting.
Review by Marc Stern: If you are looking for a great read that will have you sitting forgetting appointments, dinner and possibly even sleeping, then Murmurs of Insanity by Gerrie Ferris Finger, should be on your download list on your next online download list.
Having fondness for good murder mysteries that keep you guessing until the very last pages like the master sleuth story authors, one might say that Murmurs of Insanity is on a par with some of the best mysteries that have appeared from the keyboards of writers like John Gresham, Tony Hillerman, Tom Clancy, Mary Higgins Clark or Elmore Leonard, quite some company for a retired-journalist-turned-novelist.
When you couple that ability with an encyclopedic knowledge of the streets of Atlanta and Augusta, among other places in the state of Georgia, and the ability to weave at least six major themes together with a cast of characters that is a veritable potpourri of the weird and wonderful in the world of today’s art, modern cuisine, plus police work, you begin to approach the level of skill of any of the world’s top murder mystery writers.
Gerrie Ferris Finger has those talents, plus an easy way with words that make you think you are listening to an old friend telling you a story.
And, when you couple that with her ability to devise not only fully formed characters, but also use the geography of the area in which she lives as an integral partner in the piece and you have the recipe for a perfect mystery.
Gerrie Ferris Finger’s leading characters, Moriah Dru, ex-cop and now child-finding private eye (who is doing quite well thank you) and her police detective/boyfriend Lt. Rick Lake, seem like real people with real problems – although most of us don’t go around with people trying to gun us down – and they try to help other real people with their problems.
There’s Rick Lake’s ex-brother-in-law Baxter (Bax) who looks like he is being framed for the disappearance or murder of a young woman who is a handsome charmer with a strict code of what he believes is important. There’s his son Oliver, who runs all the wealthy Baxter’s businesses, who is finely drawn and is a three-dimensional version of the disenchanted son (he’s illegitimate but Bax has acknowledged him). There’s the performance artiste Baby Talks, who helps to set the final scenes and surprise ending of the book. There’s the seemingly friendly, but count-your-fingers if you shake hands Anthony DuPlessey and even the Web guru Webdog, always indefatigable and capable. All of these characters seem real and are worked into the story exquisitely by Gerrie Finger.
Yes, this book does have an interesting ending that I won’t reveal, so you will have to find out yourself by reading Murmurs of Insanity.