The Voice of Death assumed published, copyright and written by Lawrence J. Epstein.
The reader is introduced to Danny Ryle, the protagonist, as he is being asked by an old friend of his father to ‘do-away-with’ a man who had stolen his wife. It seems Danny’s father, now infirm with a caretaker, had been the best at eliminating unwanted persons. So good in fact, that he never had been caught and was known as ‘the Ghost’. Danny, however, although extremely clever and a card-carrying congressional investigator specifically hired by a very wealthy member of the House, will do nothing unlawful. But, because the man asking Danny the favor is such a good friend of his father’s, he is asked by his father to at least speak to the wife stealer. They leave, enter the building where the supposed man is attending a New Year’s Eve Party and Danny is greeted by his beautiful wife Hannah. His father and the friend enjoy the joke they have played and with this background material for readers unacquainted with the characters, the tale begins. We discover that Danny and Hannah are raising Jennifer, a small child orphaned when her parents died in a horrible accident. They are attempting to make the child’s life as normal and full of love as is possible. Unfortunately, Hannah formerly had been in a marriage that did not work out and the ex- suddenly appears and proves to be a scumbag. He never signed the final papers, although he had said he had. He had an ulterior motive and wanted her back and would use the law if necessary, because she and Danny had committed bigamy. He is killed and Hannah is the most likely suspect. At the same time, Danny’s congressional boss similarly is the most prominent suspect in the death of his not overly attractive, but very wealthy wife. The story unfolds as he gradually attempts to solve these murders in order to save his wife and his employer. While thus engaged, he also encounters a woman who just won a huge lottery jackpot but has a unique problem that only he, with his strange set of acquaintances, can solve. The ending is not easily predictable and interesting.
Discussion: This is a fascinating mystery, or mysteries, filled with intriguing characters that keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat until the end. It is a mystery lover’s tale that even a pragmatist can enjoy in spite of the frequently encountered bits bordering on incredibility.
5* Mystery lover’s tale with a caveat.