JERRY ST. CLAIR: “Jerry St. Clair… You a witness, Bub?”
“No, I’m here to see if a professor at Hamilton College is linked to Albert Fiore.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: “ I don’t tolerate so called cub reporters such as yourself trying to hack in on my exclusive story.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, old man.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: “Oh so you think the old duffer can’t pound the pavement for the scoop of the century?”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: ” It was a deadbeat night in a deadbeat town. I wuz cranking out special reports and exclusives before you were even thought of flatfoot.”
“Get lost pal.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: “You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Cubby? I think you’re a Hamilton Fletcher plant.”
“Fiore is linked to that professor and you don’t have the goods, Jerry.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: “Listen to me Cubby. Brad Davis is a low life perverted scum bag joined at the hip to that double dealing piece of rat crud Boston garbage called Albert Fiore. Davis was transplanted into the tiny hamlet of Hamilton… state of New Hampshire right under Hamilton Fletcher’s patrician nose. And you know why?”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: Dr. Bradford Davis was a genius, and he was supposed to make Fletcher an even richer and more conniving bastard than he already is. Genetic patterns, Cubby. Genetic patterns. And Fiore is snoopin’ around trying to get a cut of the operation. Got it?”
“You don’t know that”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: You think I’m some demented screwball with no verifiable accomplishments. My career blasted off the ground with a gruesome murder in ’47. I learned how to dig for the details, Cubby. And dig deep.
“And you just walked in and took on Fiore and Davis.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: It’s all in the book, Cubby. Murder at Tolby Lake, the demise of Davis at the lake house with Fletcher himself as a suspect. And let’s not leave Fiore at the starting gate. And the innocent little girl Pollard- she had the gun. What do you think of that? Leave it to the professionals, Cubby.”
“I’ll make a note of it, Jerry.”
JERRY ST. CLAIR: “I have a late-night date with my typewriter- Selectric. An exclusive byline on page one. Put your shoulder to the wheel Buffalo and go get ’em!”
“You’re a legend., Jerry”
If Hamilton Fletcher had Professor Brad Davis develop a patent on a particular gene sequence he could generate new income into his financial portfolio. As the patent-holder Fletcher would have the right to undertake research and development involving that gene for 20 years.
Brad Davis has a girlfriend on campus, a student named Amy Pollard, who after his murder just happens to be a possession of the murder weapon. But Davis as the old Jim Croce song about Rapid Roy the stock car boy says: ‘He’s got honeys all along the way.’ And one of those honeys, Desiree, works at a Fiore a strip joint off the Expressway in Boston.
When Murder at Tobey Lake was first written and sold for palm pilots the blurb summed up the plot.
Brad Davis loves women. Brad Davis uses women. Hamilton Police Chief George Strickland thinks a woman, a student at the college, killed Davis. Matthias Jones completes the school year and plans a summer of relaxation away from his coaching duties. Jones is at a party at Nigel Kent’s, the Dean of students, house.In the beginning of this Palm Pilot novel, Jones has words with a snooty, attractive English professor, Maggie McKay. When George Strickland calls on the phone and informs Jones of the murder at the lake house, Jones finds himself at odds with Maggie as he tries to find Davis’ killer.
And what is not said is how McCay, now Wilmont in the paperback tries to protect her student and friend Amy Pollard. Wilmont like Jerry St. Clair is one of those characters who drops into the series creating turmoil with Jones.
Davis is getting death threats, Even the night before he got into a drag-down fight at Club Max.
Jones, Cocoa and Jerry St. Clair follow the leads for Brad Davis’s killer to Boston.
So Davis has a character flaw. For a writer a character flaw is a gift from the gods. Look what Robert Lewis Stevenson did with Jekyll and Hyde. Dr. Henry Jekyll attempts to physically divide his good and evil sides. And this is such a great metaphor for human character. Nice going Jekyll you drank too much evil. And so does Brad Davis.
Davis is like Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus as the good angel attempts to halt his taking the evil path. But the bad angel is powerful. Faustus becomes a disciple of magic. The metaphors, demons and players are numerous, It is only in the end when all is lost that Faustus admits he had sold his soul. Davis never gets to admit anything because he is murdered.
Where do we begin to tell the story? So much success and so much nosediving behavior. 1990: Might have accidentally shot his fiancée Kelly Preston. He was later involved in a prostitution scandal. 1996: arrested for assaulting then girlfriend Brittany Ashland, 1998: suffered a stroke due to cocaine overdose, 2009: arrested for assaulting his then-wife Brooke Mueller, 2010: found naked and intoxicated in his room, later hospitalized, 2014: sued by a dental technician for assault and battery, 2015: HIV Positive, second ex-wife Denise Richards claimed abuse and attempted murder!
On the lighter side is the above mentioned ‘smokin’ Jerry St. Clair‘ as well as cottage dwellers Gus and Irene who follow all of Brad Davis’s arrivals and departures at the lake house. Jones, trailed and pestered all the way to Boston by Jerry St. Clair, realizes that because Davis bloodied Hamilton Fletcher’s nose, the Fletcher patriarch may have had a connection to the murder. But he’s baffled by Pollard and the gun. And what about the Boston connection and Desiree?
Ah, but remember what Agatha Christi said in Murder on the Orient Express : “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
Hamilton Fletcher overlooked Brad Davis’s shortcomings because the financial rewards. Brad Davis what a cad. And you can take that to the bank, Hamilton Fletcher.
Robert P. Fitton