Book Review: Riveting crime drama a real page-turner

Sep 16, 2018

What we’re looking for are answers. Like any great mystery. That’s what author Suzanne Schiffman provides, too, with her story of who killed Daniel Perrault.

Nobody likes this guy. No, not really. And finding out who shut his lights off is what will keep you turning the pages of “Between a Rock and a Dark Place” (Canambooks, $12.95, 2018).

This tightly worded crime drama is loaded with dialogue and ample description of the backwater of fictional Wayne County.

Who is Daniel Perrault? Well, he’s a newcomer who thinks he knows more than the locals. Specifically, he’s a brash and glamorous French entrepreneur who thinks his intelligence, sophistication and style will bring culture to a clannish and isolated region that frowns on outsiders.

Perrault makes enemies, like many know-it-all outsiders do. So maybe it’s no surprise that his body turns up at a roadside, stuffed in a sleeping bag.

The riveting “Between a Rock and a Dark Place” ultimately becomes the tale of how Sheriff Spike Stryker plans to solve the murder. It cannot be easy.

As it turns out, this Perrault guy could have been killed by almost anybody. Could it have been his wife? Or how about his teenage, biracial mistress? Perrault skipped out on a contractor without paying a bill. He became enemies with a bipolar chef. And he became bitter with a businesswoman.

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This 224-page mystery comes from the pen of Schiffman, who lives on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in rural Sperryville, Virginia. She is also the author of 2011’s “One Fine Day.” | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis