Mission Flats – William Landay

Mission Flats  won the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for Best First Crime Novel.

Police Chief Ben Truman is a twenty-four year old living in a small town (Versailles) in western Maine.  On a routine police check of the holiday cabins by the local lake Chief Truman discovers the body of the District Attorney from Boston.  D.A. Bob Danziger had been shot through the eye socket in a gangland execution style murder used by bad boy gang leader, Harold Braxton on his home patch of Mission Flats, Boston.  Detectives and forensic officers from Boston Homicide descend on the small town pushing the young Chief of Police into the background of his first big case.

Ben meets retired police officer John Kelly and asks for his mentoring and help to solve the crime.  Chief Truman and Kelly take off to Boston determined for Ben to play the major role in the investigation.  The Office of the D.A. agrees to keep the young officer abreast of all the information uncovered.  There is a love interest when Ben meets Kelly’s lawyer daughter and after a prickly start the two connect.

Chief Ben Truman discovers a twenty year old murder that has been buried by the police is connected to the recent murder in the lake cabin.  Ben becomes embroiled in the cover up and is soon at odds with Boston police and the D.A.’s office who suspect him of the latest crime.

Who did it?  Blame flows back and forward among suspects.  Finally the case is closed and Ben and Kelly return to Versailles but that isn’t the end…..and what a cracker of an ending a new author develops for his readers.  Well written with well crafted characters.  A page turning, enjoyable read.

Landay has since been nominated for other awards for his novel Defending Jacob; an excellent read, and The Strangler.