Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cactus Island by William Manchee *

Cactus Island by William Manchee opens when the law firm of Turner and Waters takes on a pair of very strange cases. Paula Waters' case involves a divorce where the husband disappears and the wife, Paula's client, is charged with his murder. Strangely, when the CSI teams goes through the house where the husband was last seen...
The lab boys say its the cleanest crime scene they've ever seen. They didn't find a single fingerprint, not one fiber, and no hair even on the hair brush. ... Even the sheets were clean like they were just out of the package.
Stan Turner's case involves a boy, also charged with murder, who was the driver of a car that went over a cliff killing a friend. The driver claims he was distracted from a UFO going to land on Cactus Island. When Stan get an analysis of the dirt on Cactus Island, Dr. Walston reports...
Yes. There was no trace of organic matter in the sample, which is unusual. This could have resulted from some sort of combustion or chemical residue left by an aircraft...
While this "Stan Turner Mystery" starts with a pair of intriguing puzzles, I found the resolution very disappointing ... SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Before the spoilers, something convinced me to jump to the end before getting half-way through. The chapters alternate between Paula and Stan point-of-view---Paula gets the odd chapters and Stan gets the even ones. However, aside from the numbering, I found it very difficult to differentiate which POV was which, Paula and Stan were identical twins.

In the end, Paula/Stan solve  the mysteries: It is UFOs.Tarizonians working with the CIA, trading American children for technology, and so on. I loved Men In Black, but this didn't work for me.

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Read giveaway on June 10, 2013. I received the book on July 1, 2013. 


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