P.J. Parrish’s The Little Death is a murder mystery that twists and turns, surprises and shocks. Thriller fiction isn’t my usual go-to read, but I rather enjoyed this different story and its odd characters. The people of Palm Beach are rich, spoiled, egotistical, and rather a bit depraved. Louis Kincaid, former cop and current private investigator, is completely out of his element as he tries to figure out who has killed escort-to-the-rich Mark Durand. The only thing he is certain of is that the killer isn’t #1 suspect Reggie Kent because he lacks both the strength and the stomach to stab, whip, and decapitate his former lover. Is it a crime of passion or a crime of hate? And can Kincaid solve the mystery before the innocent Kent ends up dead in a prison cell?
What I really enjoyed about the book was the time period in which it took place. I noticed that the book was written in 2009, but the story took place in 1989. I wasn’t sure why it couldn’t take place today, but as I read I realized there were no cell phones, no internet, no Google search to spew forth answers, and no instant information at the touch of a speed dial button. No DNA tests either. By excluding modern, convenient technology, the author slows the pace of the investigation. The information can only come as quickly or as slowly as one can page through old case files and old investigation reports. Kincaid and his team must truly detect in order to solve. It was refreshing to read a book where someone couldn’t just tap on their iPhone and get answers.
I also didn’t realize that there is an entire series of Louis Kincaid books available and that The Little Death is the tenth one published. I read it as a stand-alone and had no trouble following the story or getting to know the characters. I would definitely read more of Kincaid’s adventures and more in this genre.