David Hosp (The Betrayed) sure knows how to write a tight, well-paced mystery novel. The author has quite a few plot lines going in Dark Harbor and he adroitly manages each without ever losing or confusing the reader. This is an original mix of a court case mystery, a terrorist whodunit, and a Jack The Ripper serial killer on the loose in Boston being hunted by detectives story. Dark Harbor is not a light beach style thriller or popcorn for the brain mystery but it is extremely easy to get into and once David Hosp has got you, he is not letting go.

Women in Boston are being killed by a serial killer dubbed Little Jack. One of his victims is Natalie Caldwell, a successful Boston lawyer who was defending a security company in a wrongful death suit after a train to Boston got blown up by an Islamic terrorist (Islam is peace of course, we all know that). Her colleague and former lover Scott Finn inherits the case but also becomes a suspect in her murder. It seems law representative Finn is not the man he would like every one to believe. Throw in your usual Southie hoodlums, a few well-written and entirely believable twists and turns, political machinations, and you get Dark Harbor by David Hosp and a hell of a mystery novel.

What I liked most about this mystery is there is little déjà vu here. Yes, there is a serial killer but there is more than that. The only cliché in Dark Harbor is the often irate and politically aware and pressured police captain. His many other supporting characters are well-defined and it is easy to keep track of who is who.

Dark Harbor by David Hosp is a first novel. Who cares. His second, The Betrayed, is just as good. This is an author worth keeping an eye on and probably a very good investment for first edition mystery novel collectors.

David Hosp
Dark Harbor
Warner Books 2006
480 pages

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