Peter Pan Snipes Again

Original publish date: 21 July 2014

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

I’m a sucker for good titles…and tales of a fairy nature. So by title alone, I was intrigued by John Verdon’s Peter Pan Must Die. While I admit that I hoped for a reworking of the Peter Pan story, I was not overly disappointed with the “just as you think you’re out, they pull you back in” murder mystery that reminded me quite a bit of Criminal Minds.

A murder most foul gets a wife convicted for the death of her husband, but did she really commit the crime or was there police corruption? This question is what draws Jack Hardwick, a former police officer and recent personal investigator to look more closely at the case with the help of retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney.

While Dave had moved to the country with his wife Madeleine to live a more restful, less dangerous life, the curiosities of this high profile Spalter murder draw him in and add to his burden of personal trauma that drives his conviction and action to do right. So where does the spritely Peter Pan come into play? He’s the androgynous hit man who has evaded Interpol for years and has a unique and chilling MO that Dave works through to come to a realization of what transpired and who ordered the hit.

The prose was quite detailed and provided a good sense of the scene and the emotional state of characters, particularly Dave, throughout the whole process but at times it felt like a bit densely packed. The puzzle of motivation for murder and ultimately who ordered the murder were intricately woven throughout the whole story and kept my crime-show-watching-and-speculating-self guessing for a good portion of the book. The chapters were consistently short for quick pacing, which mirrored the pace of the investigation of the case.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

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