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Reviewed by Keith Julius for Readers' Favorite
Years ago I was captivated with detective stories, following Travis McGee, Lew Archer, and others as they meted out justice in their search for the truth. I loved the independent characters and the twisting, convoluted trails they followed. Saint George's Children by Dennis Ecklund falls right in line with the best of the classic detective novels. The story starts in typical PI fashion when Caryn Weldon shows up in Tony Alpo's office. Not only is she beautiful, but she's wealthy and had a husband who was recently murdered in a case that has remained unsolved. Naturally, Caryn hires Tony to find the truth regarding the death of her husband Edward. With dogged determination Alpo hits the trail, journeying from hometown Alabama across the country and winding up eventually in Argentina and Brazil in his search for answers.
Author Dennis Ecklund brings a sense of authenticity to Saint George's Children. Though this is the first appearance of sleuth Tony Alpo, you see glimpses of his life and allusions to past cases that make you feel he's been active for a while now. Much of the investigation involves tedium and endless phone calls, presented in a manner that doesn't lose the reader but imparts a feeling of the life Tony leads. Here too is a detective who not only cooperates with the official police force but relies on them for information and assistance. And while Tony can defend himself when the need arises – which happens several times during the story – he relies more on his brains than his brawn. The book is well written, and kept my attention. This is a cerebral tale following a believable trail to a conclusion that contains not only a satisfactory conclusion but some bittersweet disappointments along the way. I enjoyed Saint George's Children immensely.