From Publishers Weekly
Lowe's debut offers little suspense or surprise, though well-crafted prose suggests he's capable of better. Ex-Miami homicide cop Sean O'Brien, who's retreated to a house on Florida's St. Johns River, carries the usual baggage for a reluctant hero. His wife died from cancer six months earlier, and his policeman father was shot dead in the line of duty when he was a child. O'Brien calls in the Volusia County police after discovering a severely beaten, dying young woman on the river bank. O'Brien soon finds himself attracted to one investigating officer, Det. Leslie Moore, and at odds with another, Det. Mitchell Slater, who he believes may be covering up for the killer. Predictably, the unidentified woman's slaying may be connected with an unsolved serial murder case O'Brien worked on in Miami. Suspects include some powerful locals possibly involved in sex trafficking. O'Brien could sustain a series if he's attached to less by-the-numbers story lines in the future. Author tour. (Apr.)
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Sean O’Brien’s lifestyle seems at first glance to be the envy of us all. Though barely on the shady side of 40, he has a riverfront cabin home on one of Florida’s (and America’s) signature wilderness waterways, the Saint John’s River. He is also proud possessor of a cabin cruiser birthed practically in the shadow of Ponce Inlet lighthouse. And if that isn’t enough, he has chick-magnet charisma, but he prefers as a companion a gator-bait dachshund by the name of Max. O’Brien is not a moneyed ne’er-do-well. He is instead a widower and a “retired” Miami homicide detective, and, according to Volusia County sheriff’s investigator, he’s a good prospect to take the fall for a string of sex murders, a situation that forces him back to crime solving. Though a bit light on the reality quotient here and there, A False Dawn makes good reading for anyone longing to stumble upon an unpublished John D. MacDonald Florida mystery. This isn’t quite that, but it will do nicely. --Steve Glassman