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Book Review: Scone Island: An Ike Schwartz Mystery by Frederick Ramsay

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Scone Island by Frederick Ramsay is the eighth entry in the Ike Schwartz Mystery Series.

In this offering, Ike and his fiancée Ruth Harris desperately want to experience a quiet getaway for Ike from his job as sheriff and for Ruth to recuperate from serious injuries suffered in a car accident. They decide on Scone Island, a remote site in Maine that was used by the United States Army during World War II. With no electricity or phone service on the island, they are sure they will not be disturbed. However, this secluded and primitive location seems to have a secret of its own and a suspicious death there threatens to throw light on some unsavory events.

The plot for this book follows in the footsteps of many mystery novels. There are government cover-ups, murders, obvious lies, and deception. Some of the murder victims even have ties to Ike, from the days when he was in the CIA. The author does a good job of setting the pieces to the puzzle in place, but the story advanced too slowly.

For most of the book I did not really know what was happening. Then when things were finally revealed, a complex resolution in which too many stories were interwoven was dropped on the reader. I would have found it more challenging to have been able to connect some of the dots on my own.

In all fairness, I am not familiar with the other books featuring Ike Schwartz. Therefore, I do not know if this is the author’s typical style and what readers have come to expect from him. I truly did enjoy the interactions between Ruth and Ike. Their playful banter was funny and helped keep things light. I am interested in checking out previous books to learn more about their relationship and backgrounds.

Scone Island by Frederick Ramsay is best suited for an adult audience that has an interest in government conspiracies. Although the climax was a bit overwhelming, the story itself was engaging in many ways – it has romance, drama, humor, and many dangerous situations that the characters experience.

(Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views)

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