A Grand Murder: Dave Vizard
Sometimes even hit men or women make a mistake and they take out the wrong mark. Charlie Marx finds herself in s serious fix when she kills or shall I say throws Adam Townsend over the railing of the Grand Manor Hotel and he winds up dead on the porch. Poor Adam just wanted to have some fun with his new girlfriend and his friend Zeke not only funded the night for him, gave him his credit information but allowed him to have carte blanche for the night. So, just why did Charlie mistake him for Zeke? Why didn’t she realize she had the wrong person? Well fret not! She will find a way to correct her mistake, get paid the big bucks and she hopes not get caught.
This murder took place in a small town and Nick Steele is a reporter with a small paper and will stop at nothing to learn what really happened to poor Adam. The setting is the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and Nick is relentless in his pursuit to learn the truth behind the murder. But, the killer is out there and the police chief although taking a liking to Nick, tells give him the information to write his story, she does not allow him to think that it’s a murder even though she knows it is. Time wears on and the killer is smart will she try again or will Nick be able to put it together with the help of reporter friend Dave?
Going to the hotel and the island Nick meets with the Chief of Police and the manager of the hotel who stonewall him at first since the death and the investigation have just begun. No one is saying Adam’s death was a murder. No one is sure exactly how he wound up over the railing. But, Nick is relentless and although his boss the city editor Clapper does not want him hunting down a killer or pursuing this full time, he ignores the warnings, and with the help of his friend Dave, a reporter from another paper and a young novice reporter named Greta he just might solve the case.
Realizing that Zeke might have been the original target Nick decides to speak with each of his ex-wives and learns more about his side businesses and his illegal dealings. Zeke was into arson for hire and would take action-burning buildings for landlords for the insurance money. Never getting caught but in one case the end result was more than tragic.
The killer is smart, unseen and manages to create enough diversions and disguises as not to get caught. The person hiring her has revenge in his/her heart for the deaths of family members. Nick is smart and maybe too smart as the killer warns him to back off before it’s too late.
Adam Townsend was bullied, picked on and not very popular but an all around nice guy who just had some bad luck. Even his funeral did not turn out the way he would have wanted and the scene is quite comical. Throughout the novel the author introduces the on again and off again romance between Nick and Tanya. Wanted to move things along it never seems like the right moment and Tanya begins to wonder if it will ever happen. But, his boss called the Castrator wants more than just a business relationship. She might be the publisher but she has other things in mind for Nick to publish than a story.
The Bay City area will never be the same and the end result is a police chief named Calkins and a hotel manager that will stop at nothing to find the killer, solve the case and bring someone to justice. But, before all is said and done the killer strikes again as Nick learns whom the landlord was that owned the building that Zeke burned and killed an entire family. Next, the killer is determined to correct the mistake and take out Zeke in a fashion that the killer feels he deserves. Tricking a Bay City Realtor into seeing four properties the killer stakes out one lures Zeke there and the end result is more than just murder. But, the killer is smart and somehow gets away.
Zeke Zimmer is a gambler, hustler, arsonist, and liar, cheat and much more so did he deserve what he got? When the manager of the hotel questions her employees one finally comes forward and the end result might change it all.
Nick will stop at nothing and the author introduces a character that is credible, hardnosed and will stop at nothing including his bosses advances and warnings in order to get justice for Adam and hopefully stop the killer from striking again.
When Nick meets with someone connected to the arson that Zeke planned and executed the reader will have to decide whether justice was done or if Nick should give the police what they need to finally close the case. An ending that is quite open-ended and a killer that is still out there and a murder that remains partly closed. An interesting novel and characters that work well together as one novice reporter named Greta is sharp, astute and definitely a great match for Nick in more ways than one. Will he and Tanya ever really hook up? What about the next case or story that they are working on at the end? What about Darren Appleton? How does that end? The issues of friendship, loyalties, trust, deceit, lies, betrayals are just some of what is brought to light by the author in this novel as well as what happens when someone is helpless and has Alzheimer’s and cannot defend themselves. What happens when the staff of a nursing home does not check to see that a person signing in really does not belong there? Who is responsible for the person’s demise?
After reading A Grand Murder would you visit this hotel? Would you feel comfortable staying there? What do you think the police should do next? The picture of the killer is all over the news and the newspapers. Maybe author Dave Vizard will bring back Nick, Dave, Greta and the whole newspaper staff to solve another murder and maybe finally catch a killer that might be too smart for them all.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine