Coeur d'Alene Waters - Ned Hayes

This novel is as gritty as the mines that it describes.


Matt Worthson is the investigator assigned to the murder of the police chaplain, Arlen Bowman, who was found dismembered in the bathroom of a fancy resort in Coeur D’alene Idaho. Matt has a troubled past as an alcoholic and almost seems set up for failure in this investigation from the beginning. The officer, Russ White, assigned to help him is retiring shortly and will be running against the current sheriff in the next election. The owner of the resort is just wants it all finished and covered up so there’s no stigma attached to the resort. And some suspect Matt himself of being involved in the murder.


This novel has atmosphere in spades. The whole things feels like an old black and white movie. It has several interwoven stories including the fire in the Sunshine mine 20 years before of which Matt’s father was the hero. The near-by camp of skinheads play a role. Old family rifts and people thought dead long ago all play roles in the story. It is a complex and multi-faceted story which almost gets confusing at times because of the changes of perspective that happen frequently. The mystery of who killed the priest is fairly obvious from the beginning but that doesn’t ruin the flow of the story. There is a lot of foul language so take note if that matters to you. It does to me so that brings it down to 3 1/2 stars from 4.


If you like gritty and what I would call modern noir, this is the book for you.


I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review but then I lost the book and went ahead and bought it on Amazon because I didn’t think it was fair to the author not to review it, so it was given to me and I paid full price for the ebook but either way, this is still my honest review.