Things aren’t always what they seem. Tulsa Police Detective, Kenny Elliot’s quest to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient makes him a target – from whom or what he isn’t sure. When he brushes the dirt from the surface of an apparent John Doe overdose case, he finds a labyrinth of misdirection and deception beneath, and a trail, which leads him to an encounter with an aberration in human nature, the likes of which he’s not prepared to deal with.
Drawing on his strength of character, and sense of right and wrong, he wrestles with deep personal feelings to solve the case.
People go missing. Llewellyn knew that as well as anyone. But when a whole family fell victim to such a fate, that tended to get his attention. It had the interest of someone else as well. Threats had been made. But the way he saw it, with Millie gone, he didn’t have all that much to lose anyway.
Llewellyn watched his step as he moved from the sidewalk to the street, for it was dark, the sun skimming the bottom of the sky in a thin, red line, the color of embers clinging to life in a dying campfire. A disturbing thought—a deep suspicion that had grown to such proportion that he feared it might twist his reasoning—snaked through him. He’d previously abandoned the project with good reason.
At times like this, he would think back to when he was a boy, visiting his mother. Her house sat on a small hill and behind it was a pond with huge willow trees growing from its banks. It always struck him as odd that the surface of the water remained calm and never rippled, as if it were not real at all, but a painting, an artificial backdrop put there for the effect.
Llewellyn had resolved that he too would be like the waters of the pond, unmovable, unflappable, and later, during his adult life, he would call on that image, not every time the going got tough, but when life got particularly hard.
He stared at the dilapidated building with a sign hanging from it; a cheap plastic job with florescent lights inside that backlit the bar’s name: cymry’s.
He shook his head and pushed open the door, a heavy wooden model that looked out of place, as if it had been ripped from the hinges of an old house and brought there against its will.
Just inside the door, Llewellyn paused, and when his eyes adjusted to the darkness he took a seat in the second booth by the window, like the man who called himself Jerry Sinclair had told him to do. Llewellyn was five minutes late, and he hoped that wouldn’t matter, though he saw no one fitting Sinclair’s description. At least the darkness was explained. It was the décor, which included the walls and the ceilings, and even the floors. Everything was black with the exception of a large piece of red artwork that radiated from the center of the floor in a rather unprofessional manner, as if it were a bad afterthought, the awkward brushstrokes obvious even from a distance.
Llewellyn waited but no one showed. He checked his watch. Thirty minutes had passed. He slid out of his seat and went to the bar. The man had his back turned but a mirrored wall showed his face. He must’ve known Llewellyn was there though he did not acknowledge him. Llewellyn laid a five on the counter. “I’d like a beer, please.”
The man gave no visible indication he’d heard the request.
“I’ll just cut to the chase then,” Llewellyn said. “What I really need is some information.”
Turning around, the man drew a pint of lager, then set it down and snatched up the five. “What kind of information?”
Llewellyn slid his hand around the cool, damp handle, then brought the mug to his lips, relishing the bitter yet soothing brew. After a few sips, he said, “Does the name Jerry Sinclair mean anything to you?”
“Doesn’t jump out at me.”
“He said he would be wearing blue jeans and a tan corduroy jacket. Have you seen anyone like that?”
“Not since the eighties.”
“Right. Some people are habitually late. Perhaps Mr. Sinclair is one of those.” After a pause, unable to control his inquisitiveness, Llewellyn asked, “What’s up with the artwork on the floor?”
The bartender leaned forward, placing his beefy hands on the railing. “Don’t know. It’s always been there.”
Llewellyn had dealt with his kind before; smug, confident with his size. And, as with any animal, the less challenging you could make yourself the better your odds were. He slouched a little. “Do you know what it is?”
The bartender said this with a crooked grin, as if he and he alone were privy to the mysteries of the universe, which undoubtedly meant he knew nothing.
“If I had to guess,” Llewellyn said, “I’d say it has something to do with the occult. But what do I know?”
Great summer read,
June 22, 2008
This review is from: Beneath a Buried House (Paperback)Bob Avey's prequel, Beneath a Buried House, is another page-turner. Just when you think you have the mystery figured out, Det. Elliot takes you for another spin. Great book to relax with by the pool, on the beach, late at night in a dark house with only a bedside lamp burning...
A classic detective story,
December 2, 2010
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Beneath a Buried House: A Detective Elliot Novel (Kindle Edition)Who doesn't love a well-written detective story? This book starts with the icons: the socially-challenged but instinctive cop, his gruff captain, his out-of-his-league girlfriend, and the office sludge they call coffee. From there Avey spins an ever-thickening tale of murder and mayhem. There are plenty of twists and turns, misdirection and dead-ends. Thankfully Avey does not resort to a deus ex machina where all the bad guys turn out to be aliens or vampires. There is a real criminal mastermind who floors everybody at the end. This reader guessed who it was. Can you?
Creepy villains, chilling twists,
June 25, 2008
This review is from: Beneath a Buried House (Paperback)Beneath a Buried House plunges Detective Kenny Elliot into the deadly world of the occult. Bravo to Bob Avey for delivering a mystery bursting with creepy villains and chilling twists--I'll be looking over my shoulder for weeks.
Bob Avey is the author of the Kenny Elliot mystery
series, which includes Twisted Perception, released
April 2006, and Beneath a Buried House,
June 2008, several short stories and various non-fiction
articles. He lives with his wife and son in Broken Arrow,
Oklahoma where he works as an accountant in the
petroleum industry, and when he’s not writing or
researching mystery writing techniques, he spends
his free time prowling through dusty antique shops
looking for the rare or unusual, or roaming through
ghost towns, searching for echoes from the past.
Through his writing, which he describes as a blend
of literary and genre, he explores the intricacies and extremities of human
Bob is a member of The Tulsa NightWriters, The Oklahoma Writers
Federation (active board member for 2006), The Oklahoma Mystery Writers,
and Mystery Writers of America.