Published Aug 15, 2017 by Forge Books
Set in Minnesota, Gone to Dust is the debut private eye murder mystery from Emmy Award-winning Seinfeld writer Matt Goldman.
A brutal crime. The ultimate cover-up. How do you solve a murder with no useable evidence?
Suburban divorcee Maggie Somerville was found murdered in her bedroom, her body, bedroom and house covered in some sort of dirty dust leading to all potential DNA evidence being obscured by the calculating killer.
Nils Shapiro is called in by his friend Ellegaard to help investigate and soon his leads are making the higher ups very uncomfortable.
After the FBI demands that Nils drop the case, Nils and Ellegaard are forced to take their investigation underground. Is this a strange case of domestic violence or something with far reaching, sinister implications?
This murder mystery is narrated by Nils Shapiro, former police officer turned private detective who’s made a name for himself as a pretty successful PI in Minneapolis. I really enjoyed hearing from Nils right away in the first few chapters. I thought he seemed smart, yet sarcastic, with more of that dry sense of humor that I would imagine is very hard to pull off as a writer. I was immediately immersed in the frigid Minneapolis winter and thinking how hard it would be to live in a place that cold. Brrr! Of course, these dark, cold and dreary winter days made for the perfect backdrop for murder and it wasn’t long into the story until Nils arrives at Maggie Somerville’s home. Maggie was divorced and lived on her own and was found dead in her bed. What made this so interesting was the fact that she, as well as pretty much her whole house, was covered in thick layers of dust. What a brilliant way to cover your tracks if you’re a killer huh?
The story progresses at a fairly slow pace and as Nils puts pieces of the puzzle together and makes several key discoveries, he starts making others, namely the FBI, very nervous. Not one to back down, Nils is eventually forced off the case and he and his detective friend continue their investigation in secret.
Much of the puzzle solving as well as the writing style worked for me and I really did want to find out ‘whodunit’, however, for much of the book after the initial few chapters I found my mind wandering. There were several suspects and possibilities but I didn’t feel that tension and page turning quality that I look for in mysteries that really keep me on the edge of my seat. I’m not sure if it was the added extras of Nils personal drama with his ex-wife but something was keeping me from being excited and not wanting to put this down. I will say that I didn’t have the ‘whodunit’ or the why figured out but when I did reach the conclusion I felt like maybe if I’d have payed a little more attention I would’ve. I think die hard mystery lovers may really like this debut but may very well be able to figure it out. All in all, I think this was a solid debut and may appeal to those who like slower paced mysteries that can be read in an afternoon.
Many thanks to Forge Books for my copy