Murder in Palm Beach by Bob Brink
When Bob Brink asked me to review his debut novel, Murder in Palm Beach, I was unable to do so immediately due to other pressures on my time. That was a shame, bacause when I started the book, I really enjoyed it. Of course, anybody who reads this blog knows I espaecially enjoy murder mysteries. Bob was a journalist before he turned to novel writing. so it is not surprising that this book reads smoothly and easily.
Murder in Palm Beach begins in January 1976 when the doorbell rings at the Palm Beach home of a man and his wife who have just returned from a dinner party. The man, Roger Kriger, answers the door and is mortally wounded by a shotgun blast.
After Rodger Kriger, a wealthy restauranter was killed in his home the state’s attorney, Bosworth and prosecutor, Scraponia pinned the rap on Mitt Hecher, a petty thug who ran a karate school and his pal Davey Ross. This is a high profile murder and Hecher and Ross liked to cause trouble in Palm Beach bars. However, the wrong man is found guilty. Hecher is not a saint by any means, but he is innocent of this crime but gets locked up anyway.
Many people, including a few criminal attorneys and private investigators, never believe Hecher is guilty, nevertheless, he was convicted and sentenced to prison for twenty-five years. A number of scenarios cast suspicion on other possible perpetrators. Hecher makes twenty-five failed appeals against his conviction. Only then does the Florida Board of Clemency commute the remaining ten years of his sentence as time served.
Tom Palladin, a key player in Hecher’s release gives him the name of the real killer, so Hecher and three friends track the killer down to bring them to justice.
The author has a great deal of knowledge about the legal and penal systems, and uses that to great effect in Murder in Palm Beach. The only adverse comment I might make is that, if anything, the reader is sometimes given more information than is needed to move the story along. Still, I really enjoyed this book and have donated my copy to my local library so that others may enjoy it too.