When my wife Linda noticed the novel I was reading, at the Lubec, Maine ocean-side cottage we were renting for an August vacation, she laughed. Summer of the Dead didn’t sound like the kind of light summer reading you’d tackle here.
But I’ve been a longtime fan of crime novels, focused on favorite old authors like Ed McBain and John MacDonald, with a collection of their books on my shelves, and some newer writers, including Michael Connelly and two Mainers, Paul Doiron and Gerry Boyle. But I’m always open to new authors, so when I saw Michael Connelly’s quote on the cover of Julia Keller’s Summer of the Dead, I decided to give it a try. Connelly wrote this about Keller’s central character: “Bell Elkins is one of the most fully realized characters in fiction today.”