CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 04. . . . September 24, 2010r
Well, if you have read Love You to Death ( and if you haven't, well, this is your opportunity to do so), you have already met Charlie Dowhanuik (or as he's known on air, Charlie D) late-night talk show host, and haunted by past loss. Charlie's show is entitled. The World According to Charlie and truly, it is a strange world. One Fine Day begins with an encounter which has rather eerie overtones for those of us who remember the first episode of HBO's Six Feet Under: bicycling on his way to work, Charlie is clipped by a vehicle, specifically, a hearse, but fortunately for both drivers, it's relatively safe. The driver of the car is a funeral director, who just happens to be a fan of Charlie's show. Their encounter is brief but profound, and after the hearse driver takes off to make his latest pick up, Charlie remembers that Halloween is the Day of the Dead and he has a show to do.
The Halloween night show features a guest expert on death and dying, one Dr. Robin Harris, a six-foot tall, auburn-haired goddess, and tonight, she's wearing a black leather coat, . . . close-fitted to showcase her many assets. And, as the above pull quote indicates, there's tension in the room when Charlie arrives. Apparently, Dr. Harris has requested that Nova block a specific caller, one Dr. Gabriel Ireland, Robin's former lover, and Charlie's producer is less than happy with the request. However, this is but the first of a series of tense situations which arise during the course of the evening. As Charlie states, words can lie but voices never do. Truly, many of the voices are full of pain, and as Dr. Harris responds to the callers, it is clear that, despite her professional cred as a thanatologist, Dr. Harris has a long way to go when it comes to empathy and understanding of the realities of death and loss.
Once Gabe Ireland phones in, the evening takes a definite turn , especially when he tells everyone about his personal birthday plans: ingesting a vial of a deadly poison, and then, taking Robin's six year-old daughter with him on his exit. At its half-way point, the story becomes a cat and mouse game, heightened by the on-air tension between Gabe and Robin. We learn about the difficulties in Gabe and Robin's relationships, and more importantly, we learn that, when it comes to Kali, Robin's daughter, the doctor's ice princess faade melts completely. The Halloween night call-in show becomes a race against time as the police attempt to find Gabe and Kali and prevent the inevitable.
One Fine Day You're Gonna Die is a page-turner of the best sort. Once again, Gail Bowen marshals her considerable talents and crafts a story that you will not stop reading until you reach the end. And when you do, you wonder what's next in store for Charlie, and (hint, hint . . ., Nova. There's more to that statement about anticipating each others needs than meets the eye!). It won't take much to hook readers on this Rapid Read!
Joanne Peters, a newly-retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB, is a dedicated reader of mystery fiction, and huge fan of the Joanne Kilbourn series. (No, it's not just about the author's first-name, either!!)
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.