Beneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin

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I figured it out! I figured out who killed the prominent attorney, the drug dealer, and the stripper.  Well, ok, I was only about 20 pages from the end of Bruce Robert Coffin’s wonderful new novel, Beneath the Depths, but I did sense who the real killer was before Coffin revealed that information.

As the intriguing story progressed, more than a dozen possible killers were trotted out, and another prominent attorney was jailed for those murders, but it became obvious, using the clues Coffin revealed, that someone else was the killer. And I figured it out.

I enjoyed Coffin’s first novel, Among the Shadows, and his new novel is even better. I can tell you that this book is flying off the shelves of our Mount Vernon library, and getting rave reviews from our patrons.

 How did this retired police officer become such a good writer, I wonder? Coffin served for 27 years in law enforcement, retiring from the Portland police department where he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations, and then he spent four years working counter-terrorism cases with the FBI. OK, I guess all of that gave him some good story ideas!

But still, his dialogue, descriptive text, very real characters, and intriguing plots are impressive, especially for a new writer.

The story is a really good one, with a prominent Portland attorney turning up dead at the bottom of Casco Bay after he lost a multimillion dollar civil trial. That attorney had lots of secrets and many enemies, so there are plenty of possibilities to explain his death.

I really like Coffin’s main character, detective sergeant John Byron, and his partner, detective Diane Joyner. There’s plenty of corruption, betrayal, murder and mayhem in this novel that kept me up reading for two nights well after my bedtime. And I figured it out!

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