Monday, April 19, 2010
Final Respects by F.M. Meredith -- Book Review
Start your day off right with a superb crime novel. Final Respects by F.M. Meredith is the first book in her Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Now six books into the series, it still gets compliments on how well it shows how the job affects family life and vice-versa.
Final Respects is a strong opening installment for this series. I had begun reading the series when Smell of Death was released, then read and promoted the next two books: No Sanctuary and An Axe to Grind. After being with some of these characters for three books, I wanted to know more about what had brought them to the current point in their careers; so I purchased Final Respects, Bad Tidings, and Fringe Benefits (I am reading this one now).
In Final Respects, mortician Stuart Honich is tortured by the owner's three daughters who insist upon playing amongst the caskets and bodies in the mortuary. The girls despise Stuart as much as he does them, and revenge would be oh so sweet if he could get it.
Doug Milligan has dreamed of being a cop since he was a boy, but his wife hates every part of his job. Why can't Kerrie be more like his best friend, Al's wife, who supports his being a cop all the way?
Ryan Strickland puts his career above all else. The ambitious publicity hound will do anything to further his career.
The murder of the Milligan's babysitter begins a series of events that could lead to the destruction of the entire Rocky Bluff P.D. and many innocent citizens.
I've been a big fan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series since I started reading, but I have to say, this is one of my favorite books so far. You have the silly side of it with the young Tiedemann girls bugging the hell out of Stuart Honich, who takes his job very seriously. You really want to tell the guy to lighten up.
On the serious side you have the murder of the Milligan's babysitter, which could lead to problems that no one in the Rocky Bluff P.D. could even fathom. And in between those you have the camaraderie and competition between the members of the department.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book, however, is how each officer's wife reacts to his job. Kerrie Milligan hates everything about Doug's job: the hours, the danger, fearing any bad news that might come, etc. If there is something to complain about, Kerrie will find it. Then there's Barbara Bertalone, who is the wife of Doug's partner, Al. She supports Al in every way. She's even excited about a new program the department is unfolding.
Having the ablity to look back at the beginning of the series and knowing what the lastest installments contain, it's easy to see that Meredith knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish with this series. She started off in Final Respects showing how law enforcement careers affect the family, and all the other installments I have read, do the same.
While Final Respects, like the other Rocky Bluff P.D. books, are perfect stand-alones, you'll get so close to these characters that you'll want to read all six of them.
You can purchase Final Respects from the author's website. It is also available in a Kindle edition.
I highly recommend Final Respects by F.M. Meredith.
Title: Final Respects
Author: F.M. Meredith
Publisher: The Fiction Works