A Station Wagon Novel!

(well, it has 'station wagon' in the title, anyway)

'Death by Station Wagon' by Jon Katz
Subtitled 'A Suburban Detective Mystery'

'(An) exhilarating mystery, with its utterly believable uniquely modern hero.' - Publishers Weekly

Here's another review by stationwagon.com visitor Dave Lamphere:  "The title comes from a rather gruesome (and improbable) murder/suicide where a high school kid manages to strangle himself with a rope tied to a tree, then flooring the accelerator on his parents' Volvo wagon (flooring a Volvo? Must've been a slow death, har har har).  The hero is a suburban kinda guy who is redeeming his former evil ways as a stock trader by running a small private eye business out of a decaying, forlorn shopping mall. The local high schoolers hire him to find out what really went down, as they figure their buddy impossible of committing such a brutal, wanton act.

Enough already! To make this short(er), may I say that this was an entertaining, fast read for a vacation... nothing too challenging here. The suburban descriptions and settings were right on the mark, and most of the characters are pretty interesting and entertaining, though the high school girl who flirts about like a quasi-educated Vegas tramp in her mid-thirties was a bit unbelievable.

And in the end, I was surprised... I had figured on one ending, only because it was obvious in an unobvious sort of way, but it turned out to be a different thing altogether, so maybe this Katz fella can spin a darn good yarn. One alarming detail: the "bonus" first chapter of his next book, featuring the same characters... this to me is always a sign to run away. But give it a shot if you need a fast diversion from reality on an upcoming trip.

As far as wagon references... well, there's the "Death" wagon Volvo, and the main character drives an old yellow Volvo wagon himself (I just know it was an ugly mustard-yellow 240). Other than that, no wagons! And in the suburbs, yet..."

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