Book Review: ‘Fatal Catch’ — a story of mystery and suspense

By Susan Johnson
Copy Editor

Roxe Anne Peacock has done it again. The author of Leave No Trace (2011) has written a second mystery novel that incorporates some intriguing personal relationships and local history.

Set in Grand Detour, Ill., along the banks of the Rock River, the story is told from the viewpoint of Missy, 13, one of three children of Dot Canfield. Dot is a widow who definitely believes in getting the most enjoyment out of life. Unfortunately, some of the choices she makes , particularly in the area of male companions, not only reflect unfavorably on her but eventually endanger her children. Following the death of their father in a tragic auto accident, Missy, Katie and Billie are forced to deal with some less-than-reputable live-in “uncles” who catch their mother’s fancy but make life difficult for the children.

Dot, the mother, has a regular job at the Varsity Bar & Grill, and she is skilled at both fishing and cooking. The kids like to go fishing, too. Unfortunately, one day at the Rock River, Billie hooks a “Fatal Catch” that definitely points to murder. Who is this victim, and is there a killer among the residents of this rural community?

Often left on their own, the children try to manage as best they can while trying to unravel the mystery. What is really going on behind the scenes? Is “Uncle Frank” just kidding around trying to scare them, or is there an ominous warning behind his drunken threats?

This story will keep readers busy trying to figure out what’s behind it all. At the same time, here’s a note of warning to parents: the parenting practices of the “Mama” in this story are guaranteed to make you cringe, and if your kids read it, they can be glad not to have any relatives like the mother and her boyfriends. One other thing that makes this reader wonder: Where were the people from Child Protection Services while all these escapades were going on? But then again, if you want a good story …

This is a tale of suspense and intrigue that will keep you interested all the way. Roxe Anne Peacock is familiar with the locale, as she grew up in that region. She remembers camping out at Castle Rock and hearing about the history of the Black Hawk War and Stillman’s Run. She also knows something about barn cats. And if there’s a hidden message, it might be this: Listen to your pets. They are good judges of character.

This self-published book is available either in print or on Kindle. Reference ASIN:B0061TBRVA on Go to /dp/B0061TBRVA. Print edition retails for $10.49, or get it on sale at Kindle for 99 cents.

From the May 9-15, 2012

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