The Connubial Corpse
As much as Malcom Winters tries to leave his past life behind and start over, it seems that the skills he obtained is the only thing that can keep him and his friends alive.
In Heirs Apparent, assassin turned unqualified but quite popular creative writing university professor, Malcom finds himself entangled in an old, well-kept, and deadly family secret. Now, in Connubial Corpse, he faces a three-thousand year old morbid Chinese tradition.
When a Chinese top-of-her-class university student disappears, and Malcom’s friend and love interest, Vinn, asks for his help in order to locate her, they stumble upon the dead body of another Chinese woman in a shipping crate in the cargo section of an airport ready to be shipped to China. The body is dressed in a red ceremonial dress and the personal effects consist of six oranges, an engagement ring, a man’s shirt, and red slippers. This strikes Malcom as odd and he has no clue where to begin his investigation. But when an unexpected ally introduces him to a Chinese tradition, Malcom starts to believe that it is possible to stop it.
In Connubial Corpse, we get a deeper glimpse at Malcom’s past life as he reaches out to an old “coworker” of his, in order to be provided with information concerning the case he’s investigating. Once again, Vinn, the intelligent professor, the neighbouring tough Ted by day and the sassy Rebecca by night, and the Cuban cook with an unspoken, full of mystery past, join Malcom and the four of them create a weird but effective team. Each character is created well and unfolds in such a talented way that enriches the plot with unique moments of humour, awkwardness and emotions such as trust, friendship and love.
The cover of the book is artistically beautiful and it is aligned perfectly with the book’s plot. What came as a surprise was the book’s third and final act. I expected the story to unfold in the same pattern as the first book in the series but in contrast, there were no gunshots fired, battles fought or people getting killed. It was an unexpected ending and one that I enjoyed because sometimes the solution comes in the form of words and not by using violence.
We can definitely expect a third installment in the series and I will be expecting to read Malcom’s next adventure in the future.
|Thomas J. Thorson
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller