WHAT NOW, KING LEAR? by Alistair Boyle
A GILL YATES PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR NOVEL
Allen A. Knoll, 2001
Part time Private Investigator Gil Yates (known to his family as Malvin Stark) is hired to find the killer of a Texas billionaire. The suspects: the billionaire's wife and Yates's client; the billionaire's three daughters, and any of the daughters' husbands. As Yates investigates, he discovers that there was no love lost within the family. Any would be happy to see one of the others set up both to increase their share of the pot and because the victim had set it up in his will that no one got anything until the killer was found.
The three husbands appear to be the most likely suspects. One keeps a gun collection. The second raises attack dogs. The third puts on a nice-guy appearance, but Yates thinks he would be willing to stab anyone in the back. Still, the police have investigated the sons and come up empty. WHAT NOW, KING LEAR echoes Shakespear's famous play. The billionaire had divided his huge wealth amongst the daughters who, ungratefully, were suing for control of their shares even before his death.
Unnecessary coincidence (how likely is it that the ex-wife of one of the husbands just turns up at the health spa in Mexico where Yates carries his investigation), and Yates's cynical indifference about other people, especially his wife (whom he calls Tyranny Rex), are somewhat off-putting. In fact, Yates's attitude toward almost everyone is tinged with contempt. That said, author Alistair Boyle delivers a fast-paced and occasionally humorous tale of inheritance, murder, and family intrigue.
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