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FATAL HARBOR by Brendan DuBois: Book Review

It’s been three years in real time since the publication of Resurrection Day, but only a week has passed in fictional time for Lewis Cole.  In that novel, a protest against the nuclear plant in Lewis’ adopted home town of Tyler, New Hampshire turned violent, leaving his best friend and town police officer Diane Woods in a coma.  Lewis saw the brutal attack and is determined to bring the killer to justice, or at least his idea of justice, in Fatal Harbor.

The only survivor of a project gone tragically wrong when he worked for the Department of Defense, Lewis has no faith that the any government agency wants to find the killer.  Every step he takes convinces him that he is endangering his own life and the life of his friend, Felix Tinios, by pursuing the man who nearly killed Diane and that the government is not on his side.  But Lewis won’t stop his investigation and pursuit.  He knows who the killer is, he just has to find him.

Lewis and Felix follow the trail to Boston University where faculty member Heywood Knowlton is known to be sympathetic to the Nuclear Freedom Front, the group behind the protest.  Posing as a free-lance journalist writing a story about the plant and the violent demonstration that took place there, Lewis talks to the professor but Heywood tells him in no uncertain terms that he won’t cooperate.  To Heywood, the man Lewis is looking for is a “true believer, a fighter for the people….”  And if a police officer was injured or killed, that’s the “price of progress.”

As Lewis exits the university building, he sees Felix talking to two men.  As Felix walks away from the men, they begin shouting at him, and he sees one of them reach under his coat for a weapon.  Felix fires first, the men fall, and he drives away. 

Picking up Lewis later in the day, Felix explains that the two men had said they were FBI agents.  Felix knows, from past experience, that they were merely impersonating federal agents and that the whole scene was a setup to get him into their SUV.   The next day the Boston Globe carries a very short paragraph reporting the incident.  The authorities call it a false alarm, a film shoot gone wrong.  When Lewis reads this, he is more convinced than ever that the only justice Diane will ever receive has to come from him.

And when Lewis is near the end of his journey and is talking again to the university professor, Heywood Knowlton, Heywood is stunned.  “A friend?  You’re doing this for a friend…Not even a family member…a friend….”  But to Lewis, a friend is the most important thing there is.

Brendan DuBois has written another page-turning novel.  Lewis Cole comes across as a real person, dealing with a difficult past and a traumatic present.  Regardless of the dangers, he continues his search for the killer.  Lewis’ friendships are vital to him, and a promise is sacred.

To completely appreciate this excellent book, I strongly suggest reading Resurrection Day first; it will make Fatal Harbor more understandable and even more enjoyable.

You can read more about Brendan DuBois at this web site.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her web site.