Finn Carroll is not living his best life. Living at his parent’s old house in suburban Massachusetts, Finn has long abandoned his dreams of being a painter and settled for a life of quiet resigned obscurity. But while Finn doesn’t think much anymore of his past, it seems someone else still dwells on it. One day when coming home from the supermarket, he’s taken by surprise by three disguised assailants who strap him to a chair and force him to down two whole bottles of pills and a bottle of vodka, in order to make his death look like a suicide. But right before he blacks out, Finn decides he doesn’t want to die. He is determined to survive, and he’s determined to find out who these killers are, and how they seem to know so much about his past. He ends up fleeing to the island of Musqasset off the coast of Maine and staying at home of his old college friend, Miles, hoping this whole thing will blow over soon. Little does he know, it’s just beginning.
Andrew Wolfendon’s FISHERMEN’S COURT is a noir so absolutely character-driven that it probably would’ve worked even without the thriller elements. All the violence and suspense is tied in perfectly to the characters and their backstories, and every decision affects the story profoundly. The mystery is a fiendishly brilliant reveal that fits in perfectly, even if the climax does arguably cause a few characters to act strangely.
FISHERMEN’S COURT also has a very memorable narrator. Finn Carroll is an absolutely delightful character, providing the exact sort of narration this story needs, with such gems as, “A secret on Musqasset Island has about the same odds of survival as dignity at a Renaissance fair.” And this gets to the heart of what makes the novel work so very well: no matter what situation he finds himself in, no matter what ugly facts come to light about his past, the reader is always rooting for Finn.
Exciting and well-written, FISHERMEN’S COURT is the kind of noir thriller that’s hard to put down. Its combination of thrills and New England nostalgia make it perfect for reading by the sea in a salt box house in Maine, or anywhere else for that matter.
FISHERMEN’S COURT is a well-plotted, tightly organized mystery that will successfully keep readers guessing until the very end.
~Charles Baker for IndieReader