"Soc" is back, older but mostly unchanged. I wish the rest of us could age as gracefully. This Cape Cod amateur detective cum fisherman is one of my favorite fictional characters, and it's great to have him back again.
I just wish author Paul kemprecos didn't let "Soc" get old like the rest of his admirers.
That withstanding, Paul's new book "Grey Lady" is a multi-faceted gem with at least four separate story lines which all come to together at the end.
The adventure begins with Aristotle “Soc” Socarides trying to launch a new career running his new charter boat out of Hyannis Harbor. Then a casual remark brings a Russian KGB mogul down on him mad enough to torch his brand new charter boat and gets Soc an offer to solve a mystery on Nantucket which quickly spins out of control.
But he gets more than he bargained for when a murder suspect he's hired to exonerate thinks he’s Captain Ahab. Add to this a story of Moby Dick era cannibalism coupled with some new and deadly underwater technology with possible international consequences, and “The little, grey lady of the sea” turns out to have a darker side which can be fatal to our hero.
The books description says,
"The shiny new charter fishing boat financed with family money was supposed to launch a bright new career for Cape Cod fisherman, diver, and private investigator Aristotle “Soc” Socarides.
"But when the slip of a beer-oiled tongue brings the ire of a Russian KGB mogul down on his head, Soc finds himself drowning in a sea of troubles. As he looks for a foothold on the sandy shores of Nantucket Island, Soc discovers more than he ever bargained for: a deranged homicide suspect who thinks he’s Captain Ahab and Soc is his first mate Starbuck; a high-seas case of murder and cannibalism that still stirs up emotions; a Cold War secret; a missing whaling artifact with a bloody history; and cutting-edge underwater technology with deadly potential.
"As he gropes his way through the Nantucket fog that shrouds the lonely moors and beaches, Soc will soon discover that “the little, grey lady of the sea,” has a dark side the tourists never view, and that a single misstep can be fatal".
What others say about "Grey Lady"
About "Grey Lady" Steve Berry in New York Times writes, “What a character. Aristotle Socarides is a diver, a fisherman, and a PI who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. He’s the brainchild of a genius - Paul Kemprecos - who knows a thing or two about writing action and adventure. I bow to the master and urge all of you to read this latest installment in a first rate series.”
Clive Cussler says, "Absolutely the best private-eye mystery I've read. I can't wait for the next one."
"There can be no better mystery writer in America today than Paul Kemprecos."
Newspaper editor discovers there IS life after the inky trade
I worked with Paul for a decade in the 1970s when he was an editor at The Cape Codder where he began writing a series featuring his own detective, an ex-cop, diver, fisherman, and PI named Aristotle "Soc" Socarides.
Paul had the misfortune of having his first novel published by Bantam when "Soc" made his debut in "Cool Blue Tomb", which won the Shamus Award for Best Paperback Novel of that year.
His success as a published author, however, did not set well with the new, obviously jealous publisher who soon laid off Paul after over twenty years of excellent service.
Paul thrived in his new-found joblessness, however, and published a whole series of "Soc" mysteries, each one better than the last, until he was hired by Clive Cussler to write a series for him.
If you're like me and love books with a solid Cape Cod connection, you'll love Paul Kemprecos newest one, "Grey Lady".
And here's a list of the rest of "Soc's" great and highly readable adventures.