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The Fisher Boy    by Stephen Anable order for
Fisher Boy
by Stephen Anable
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod is the destination of many tourists seeking to escape the summer heat of the cities - trying to relieve the stress of their lives with sun and surf. It's different for Mark Winslow. He takes his stress with him and when he encounters more, he vows to find out why. A man he believes to be his half-brother is found dead on the breakwater. For a time, Mark is suspected of slitting the man's throat. A participant in the gay scene, he views almost everyone capable of the murder, and decides to investigate.

Keeping the myriad characters sorted out takes some doing but is well worth the effort. A pod of street children appears on the streets of Provincetown, begging and stealing and telling everyone they are Scandinavian. The commune of Thomas Royall of many years ago still stands, though in great disrepair, and is taken over by another group who practice castration and other physical abuses. Royall was an artist in good standing and his portrait of The Fisher Boy explains the title of this intriguing novel.

When the small daughter of a very good friend is kidnapped, Mark is sure the old commune is very active again, and determines to find the child. He suspects that she is being held at this commune, but doesn't know why.

The Fisher Boy is a good read that explores the gay scene to a certain extent, but also brings in straights to muddy the waters. The action moves at a good pace as does the story line. It got a little fanciful for my tastes at one point but picked up again with reality. The characters could be next door neighbors or the clerks who sell your groceries - good, solid folk who are spooked by the happenings in their summer resort town.

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