An Excellent Mystery/Thriller
5 out of 5 stars
There’s something about a Joey Mancuso & Father O’Brien story that always keeps me guessing. Owen Parr can write these intricate stories that have twists and turns, and multiple reveals – and do so in the perfect story length. The Islamorada Murders is one of those excellent stories.
Parr was able to take characters that I know and love and throw them into a new and unique situation yet again. This time instead of helping individuals around a dead body or bodies – he was helping someone that came up to him saying they were about to be dead and needed his help.
From there, this was twists and turns with lots of reveals, interesting details, action scenes, and much more. Parr really floored it in this one – taking Mancuso all over the place. At one point, I almost said, “this is more of a Manucso-only story,” but then, towards the end – I see why it’s still in this series.
The Islamorada Murders rarely let up – and the times they did were to give Mancuso some time to let his “gray cells” rest. Then we were right back into the action. Overall, I thought that this was one of the most surprising stories since it wasn’t just set in one area – with a few locations in between for Mancuso to jump to. Containing lots of “three-letter” government organizations and their even shadier sub-task-forces.
I also want to give Randy McCarten a shout-out – he has done an amazing job taking over these stories and has really become Mancuso. There are certain scenes in every one of these stories that McCarten makes shine with his ability to perform without performing. An example is just the wittiness that Mancuso has. He’s not a full-blown smart-a__ all the time, but he’s close. And McCarten can flirt that line perfectly. He’s exactly the right performer for these stories, and I’m glad Parr and him have been able to put so many out.
As a side note – I feel like Parr is leading up to a story here. I don’t even know if it’s something I’m getting from multiple books or if he’s purposefully leaning into it. He’s mentioned the white-collar crime “division” at his investigative firm. I feel like a bank fraud and/or a cryptocurrency-related crime is coming next or soon. With the addition of JJ it just feels like Parr is leaning into doing something around the dark web, crypto, and other techy – technothriller-style stories with Mancuso kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
“I need you to solve my murder” was what the man partially disguised with a medical mask and large, ridiculous looking sunglasses, that Mancuso thought the man bought at an Elton John garage sale, said when he approached Joey Mancuso.
Joey Mancuso and his wife, former FBI special agent Marcy, were in Islamorada, Florida Keys, with the expectation of sunning, swimming, drinking a few locally brewed craft beers, enjoying freshly caught mahi mahi and grouper, and simply relaxing from hectic New York City.
Former NYPD homicide detective Mancuso, now private investigator, was not interested in getting involved in what seemed like an outlandish story. But how the timid, scared man told the story made Joey think twice about getting involved.
What followed was a series of murders—one body washing ashore at the Islamorada Sandbar, rattling sunbathers, another body with a bit-off leg, picked up by a fishing charter in the Atlantic Ocean. Now, Joey’s mystery man was wanted for two homicides, smuggling a cache of fentanyl, and stealing from the dead men hundreds of thousands of dollars. To make it worse, Joey and Marcy were facing charges for harboring a wanted murderer. So who was this mystery man?
In his 10th entry in the Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian Crime Mystery series, author Owen Parr doesn’t disappoint his fans. In his typical “what you think it is, isn’t”, Parr takes the listeners into a plot full of twists, turns, and unexpected directions. Was Joey’s mystery man in fact a murderer? Was he a drug smuggler? Why is he wanted by the Chinese government? Also, why is the Department of Defense looking for him?
Without his New York brain trust and team, Joey solicits the help of friend, mystery author, and Miami Beach police consultant Jack Ryder. Plus, he calls colorful Miami olice vice squad’s undercover detectives Jote and Tico, whom Joey describes as a cross between Cheech and Chong and the Pirates of the Caribbean. Together they embark in search of the truthThe Islamorada Murders by Owen Parr
Narrator: Randy McCarten
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
Published by Self Published on November 9th 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
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Also by this author: The Dead Have Secrets, A Murder on Wall Street, A Murder on Long Island (A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery #2), The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer
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