Prather’s Pick: A new mystery novel
November 17, 2015
I enjoy Elizabeth Adler's novels so I was thrilled to find "One Way or Another" with the new books at the Craig Moffat County Library. The novel, with a 2015 copyright, is published by Minotaur Books. Adler has written 30 novels.
This suspense novel is set in Fethiye, Turkey. The story is told by an unknown narrator who knows what's going on with all of the characters, but Adler chose to let Angie, the main character, speak for herself in chapters interspersed throughout the book. These chapters are titled "Angie."
In fact it is Angie who speaks to the reader in the prologue to the book, as she looks back at the black yacht owned by billionaire Ahmet Ghulbian. She can see his assistant, Mehitabel, still standing there with the champagne bottle in her hand, the bottle that she used to hit Angie on the head. Afterward, Angie fell overboard, and now she is drowning in the sea, her coppery-red hair floating in the water.
Mehitabel walks away, thinking "another one bites the dust" or in Angie's case, "swallows up the sea." There have been other victims, mostly women because, you see, Ahmet Ghulbian is one twisted individual.
Then, as the novel begins, Marco Polo Mahoney is relaxing on the shore of the Turkish Port of Fethiye with his little dog Em. (There is always at least one dog in each of Adler's novels.) Marco has been renting a cabin for a few days of relaxation. He is a well-known portrait artist, hied by famous persons.
As Marco sits there in his lounge he notices a black yacht. Then he watches as a woman with red hair stands at the stern of the boat. She has her hand on her head where there is a gaping, bloody wound. Marco sees her white skull. He watches her fall overboard.
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Marco doesn't waste any time. He jumps into his orange inflatable and takes off. Marco dives into the water, searching for the woman. He sees her coppery-red hair floating upward, but he can't find her.
Once back on shore, Marco can't get the woman out of his mind. He asks questions around the town. He even finds a clue. Marco calls his girlfriend Martha, who is an interior decorator, back in New York, and she flies to Turkey. Marco believes the red-haired woman is dead.
But Angie is not dead — almost, though. In one of Angie's chapters, the reader finds out how she met Ahmet. She was a hostess at a restaurant when she met him. He said he knew of an advertising agency that was looking for a woman with red hair. That's how Angie hooked up with Ahmet.
So now a trading boat comes into the water where Angie is drowning. Captain Apollo Zacharia sees her in the water, and she is rescued, though barely alive. The captain turns her over to the captain of a big, black yacht that will take her to get medical aid. The owner of the yacht is, of course, Ahmet. Ahmet takes her home to Marshmallows where there is an eerie black swamp.
It isn't long until Ahmet has hired Marco to paint his portrait. Martha is there, too, decorating his home, getting it ready for a big costume ball. Martha's 17-year-old sister, Lucy, is there, too, as an assistant to Martha. And, of course, Angie is hidden away, vowing to survive "one way or another." Ahmet has plans for Lucy.
This is a chilling novel, just the ticket for readers who enjoy suspense.
The hardcover book costs $26.99 or you can find the book at the Craig Moffat County Library.