Reviewed By: Editorial Board
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Tipper Lake by W.Thomas Geer is an original murder mystery set in Savannah, Georgia during the Cuban Missile crisis. The protagonist, NYPD detective Tyler Monroe, who is ‘on assignment’ with the Savannah PD, wears a second hat as an undercover agent for the FBI. In the best tradition of high-stakes mysteries, our hero becomes embroiled in the murder of a prominent political figure, while personal complications provide multi-layered plot threads, heightened suspense, and depth of character.
Author W.Thomas Geer brings together a perfect storm of emotional and cultural conflicts, old, dark secrets, and a quirky, authentic southern setting. Moral, ethical, and race dilemmas are confronted, not heavy-handedly, but in a personal, genuine tone. (“I thought about how unfair life truly was. How could such a wonderful God-fearing person deserve this fate, while worthless, no good criminals continued to roam the streets committing vicious crimes?”) At the same time, the novel succeeds in painting a three-dimentional, imperfect hero, whose failings readers will easily relate to. (“Against my better judgment I reached underneath the front seat and removed the flask I had hidden there. I had made it to day two without a drink. Unfortunately that’s where it would end.”)
In summary, Tipper Lake is an excellent mystery novel. The story moves along at a fast pace and high suspense, the characters are believable and interesting, and the facts unfold with clarity and plausibility. The author deftly balances the underlying, simmering dangers of violence and deep animosities, and while the resolution to the mystery begins to surface, new dangers simmer. This is a veritable page-turner that will keep readers at the edge of their seats until the unexpected, yet satisfying ending. Highly recommended!