Wednesday 9 September 2020

An Old-Fashioned Drowning: A Hal Johnson Adirondack Mystery by Richard H Nilsen

An Old-Fashioned Drowning: A Hal Johnson Adirondack Mystery
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The past few years, dozens of intrepid folks (ambulatory but with what I suspect are less than healthy mental faculties) rush into the water in the channel between East and West Caroga Lakes for "the Polar Plunge" on Jan. 1. They do this intentionally and with malice of forethought. I witness this event each year. Each year, even though I have Nordic genes and have been accused of preferring a roll in the snow to lying on a hot beach, I still marvel at the people voluntarily rushing into the ice water with screams of supposed delight and happiness. This particular year, the crazy ice water event connected to something sinister, and that's where it got sad, but interesting. Just the kind of thing they'd call me in on... and that's what they did.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I know that I am not alone when I say that I love reading books by local authors who write about the area that you live in.  Richard H. Nilsen is a local (to me) author and the main character in his Hal Johnson Adirondack Mystery series lives on Caroga Lake which is about 45 minutes from where I live.  Although the area that Nilsen writes about is real, the stories are not.

In An Old-Fashioned Drowning Hal and his girlfriend are enjoying the off season on the house they just had built on Caroga Lake.  Hal works in the mental health field as well as his own private investigative business and they both keep him busy.  It may not be exciting but it keeps Hal busy and out of trouble.....usually.  However when he gets a call to have dinner with a recent widow everything changes.

Janet White who is recently widowed because her husband went through some thin ice on the lake while riding his snowmobile insists that there is no way her husband would be anywhere near water or ice where there is a chance that he could drown.  He was very afraid of drowning.  She would like Hal to look into the death because it was ruled an accident.  Janet is friends with Zoe who is dating "The Don".  Don owns the local "gentlemen's club" and Hal knows him from doing work for him in the past.  It also appears that the deceased, Manuel, worked for Don as a collector of people who owed Don money.

While Hal is looking into Manuel's death, another body is found and even though it also looks as accidental, Hal and Don know otherwise.  Now they just have to prove it......

Hal is limited with what he can do and who he can involve seeing as Don's business and dealings can be questionable as to if they are legal and on the up and up......

An Old-Fashioned Drowning is the third book in the Hal Johnson Adirondack Mystery series and the first one that I have had the pleasure of reading.  I will be looking into Nilsen's other books as this book immediately caught my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the area I live in ....and with a twist of murder and shady businesses it was exceptionally exciting !!!

Review by Missi M.

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