Monday, June 13, 2011

The Man with the Silver Mustache by Michael Scanafi

Michael Scafani’s The Man with the Silver Mustache chronicles the Nick Falconi, an insurance investigator, as he investigates his first murder.  Interwoven into the page-turning story are themes of retribution, the morally reprehensible hiding behind respectability, the compassion and bond for which those shunned by society can feel and with each other, and the morally ambiguous still knowing right from wrong when it comes to life, death, and justice.

A young woman named Tanya comes to Falconi’s office, beseeching him to investigate the murder of her friend, Jenny Woodson, a prostitute whose body was found three months earlier in a lake near Marin County.  Tanya is insistent that he investigate the murder of her coworker despite his protests that he has no previous experience in this area. Tanya persists, as she has heard that he was “honest and hard working,” which “fit the bill,” far more than do the efforts of the police department, who treated her dismissively, telling her that no one cares about a murdered “whore.”

Nick is left floundering for suspects and leads, relying on instinct alone.  As the tension builds and stakes mount, Falconi is left feeling as though he has failed at his assignment, giving him a renewed dedication to finding justice; “…by God, I’d find out who murdered Jenny.”   Although he feels as though he is finding only dead-ends, his pursuit of the case as he circles in on the killer proves to be dangerous for him, and he is finally led to an unlikely murderer and a shocking denouement.  Scafani has a unique gift for surprising readers and destabilizing their assumptions throughout the story, presenting them with twists that will undoubtedly catch them off-guard.  The Man with the Silver Mustache is certain to entertain, surprise, and keep readers riveted from cover-to-cover.