She Felt No Pain – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘He snugged the rubber tubing around his arm, laughing as his body cooperated with a bulging vein. Born to shoot. A crust from a sore on one elbow was still pink, but he read no warning of infection. Soft beds and softer women on the way. The skags he’d met on the road were all bones and dry. Then he filled the syringe, tipped up and tapped to get the air out, plunged into the vein and pulled back with blood. Then back again until gone. Warm fire, like being in a hot tub. Cold water the first time taught a rough lesson. He breathed deeply. As he closed his eyes, he could still hear that other stupid song: “Stronger than Spain and France.” He gasped, dimly aware that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. His nostrils were stuffed from the humidity. He tried short, shallow breaths. But everything was slowing down, like a wind-up clock. He dropped the syringe and clutched at his throat. Before he could telegraph his brain one last time, the bellows in his skinny chest hung limp, and his head lolled. An adventurous ant climbed aboard his hand and headed for a tasty piece of dry skin.’
RCMP Corporal Holly Martin’s transfer to Vancouver Island is perfect. It’s a small precinct employing herself, one other officer and Ann who was placed on desk duty after injuring her back in the line of duty. But it’s home for Holly. Her home, which is still occupied by her father, is close enough that she can live there instead of paying the high price for an apartment. Plus, after her mother disappeared several years earlier, this gives her the comfort of taking care of her father.
Vancouver Island has its usual run of the mill crimes such as a break-in now and then, speeding, drinking and occasionally a drug bust, but major crimes quite rare. So, when a homeless man is discovered dead due to an overdose, Holly isn’t totally surprised. But when she finds that the drug he injected into his blood stream was laced with Fentanyl, a synthetic morphine used to treat extreme pain, she decides this isn’t a normal overdose. Then there is the discovery of a wad of bills in the man’s pockets. Was he dealing? Where did the Fentanyl come from? As Holly answers one question, it seems another pops up and each answer takes her to one person. A person that she has really grown to like and hopes has nothing to do with the death of this man.
Lou Allin has continued to entertain me with a second Holly Martin Mystery. Through her first book And on the Surface Die and now through She Felt No Pain, I feel that I’ve actually paid a visit to what she describes as Canada’s Caribbean. I’ve felt the cool breeze coming in across the water and seen the beauty of the land. But she has also kept me on the edge of my chair as I tried to determine who was responsible for the murder and why. I must admit that Lou Allin has taught me that the answers to some questions simply stare you in the face but you don’t see them because you don’t want to. A very enjoyable read.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com