West Palm I: The Undertaker's Apprentice
by Joss Cordero
- File Size: 891 KB
- Print Length: 58 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Star (June 3, 2013)
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ADMR044
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Publication Date: June 3, 2013
The first in a four-part, fast-paced serialized psychological thriller, from a talented author who captures quirky South Florida in the bestselling tradition of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen.
Zach often hears his great aunt Emmy’s hauntingly sweet voice singing in his head. His calling has been to make the dead look beautiful. As a security guard at a West Palm funeral parlor, he strolls alone among the corpses, artfully decorating them…Zack knows the spirits of the dead need his help as they transition to the netherworld. But when his bizarre rituals are discovered, he flees. Not deterred, he comes upon a tall, beautiful woman alone on a yacht and knows she needs the kind of help only he can provide...
With its taut pacing and sly humor, Cordero’s West Palm serialization is relentlessly addictive, peopled with a South Florida psychopath, a burnt out police detective turned P.I., and one gorgeous but tough woman, in a city where trash mingles with class.
Zack is a manic, psychotic ‘nerd’ who obsesses over his “angels” - dead women whom he likes to make beautiful. He is currently working as a security guard for a funeral parlor where he thinks he is helping the spirits of the young women to transition as he decorates the corpses for the holidays. When his boss stumbles upon him lighting the corpses Zack knows he will have to move on...again.
While Zack ponders where he will work next he spots a beautiful young woman on a yacht in the marina. He is sure she is to be one of his angels – even if he has to help the process by delivering the woman to the morgue.
This was an interesting albeit creepy beginning to the mystery. I liked the different perspective of knowing from the beginning who the psychopath is and seeing the scenes from his warped mind and eyes. I particularly enjoyed that this was set in familiar grounds for me since I lived in Palm Beach County for many years. The writing is crisp with an underlying feel of suspense. It was an easy, quick read.
I recommend this to mystery buffs who don’t mind seeing the story from the twisted view of the killer. Also I warn you that you will probably need to plan to get the next novella(s) in the group so you don’t get stopped in the midst of pursuit as happens in this novella. The four book set won't be released until December.
I picked this title up at NetGalley.