Sunday, September 02, 2018

Icepick by Phillip DePoy

While the third Foggy Moscowitz mystery, Icepick, is called "A noir mystery set in Florida", the violence of Phillip DePoy's latest book is offset by the dark humor and the mysticism. In fact, like Foggy, the reader may get to the end and wonder what just happened.

Foggy was once a successful car thief from Brooklyn, but when one of his thefts went horribly wrong, he escaped to Florida, where he's changed his life to make reparations. Now, in 1976, he's working for Child Protection Services. It's in that role that he tries to help two Seminole children, a brother and sister, Duck and Sharp, whose mother has disappeared. She was a hard-working, devoted mother who walked seven miles each way to work as a housekeeper at the Benton Inn. But, she hasn't been home in three days. When Foggy asks around, he learns twenty-seven Seminole women, almost one third of the women from the local tribe, have disappeared. Foggy's fears grow worse when he follows clues to an abandoned bakery, and finds Sharp there, beaten and in a coma. Leaving the children in the hospital, Foggy teams up with John Horse, a local Seminole legend, for a lengthy road trip.

Their trip takes them first to Brooklyn, where they meet with some wiseguys who remember Foggy. Then, it's off to Oklahoma, where they fear the women have been taken. While John Horse gives Foggy hints of the family and historical connections of the Florida and Oklahoma tribes, he's never completely forthcoming as to what he knows.

Poor Foggy really is in a fog for much of the book. Kidnappings, violence, shootings, fire, crooked cops, fake FBI agents. It all culminates in a conclusion that leaves the reader and Foggy a little befuddled. What is real? What is legend? What just happened?

The atmospheric, open-ended mystery features fascinating characters, storytelling, and a fast pace. If you were a fan of David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, you might want to pick this one up. If you're a fan of Phillip DePoy or Foggy Moscowitz, you'll definitely want to read it.

Phillip DePoy's website is

Icepick by Phillip DePoy. Severn House, 2018. ISBN 978072887955 (hardcover), 224p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

No comments: