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BOOK REVIEW: THE SUREST POISON
BY CHESTER CAMPBELL

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.



The Surest Poison introduces readers to Sid Chance, P.I. As we discover along the way, Sid comes to the PI business after quite an interesting life. He's a Viet Nam veteran, having served in the special forces. He worked for eighteen years as a National Park Ranger until he suffered a gunshot wound during a drug bust and then as a small town Chief of Police in Lewisville, Tennessee-a career that did not end well. Now he's a P.I. All of these “former careers” have prepared Sid well for his new one.

In The Surest Poison, Sid agrees to take a case for HarrCo Shipping. When TCE is found in the ground water around the plant, the company, which is a box company, is going to have to pay for the cleanup. The cost of the cleanup will surely bankrupt the small company. What isn't fair about it is that HarrCo has never used TCE. The chemical found in the groundwater was caused by the previous owner who is no where to be found. Sid is hired to find the previous owner before HarrCo has to pay for the cleanup. And then a couple of people are found shot to death-people who it turns out have ties to the former company. In the meantime, Sid's friend Jaz LeMieux, asks Sid to help find the son of her employee who has disappeared. What starts out as possibly two, maybe three cases, begin to have links with each other.

Other reviewers have spent much energy on the environmental/chemical angle of this book. While the chemical storyline was interesting, I know nothing about this particular chemical or how the legal system treats the third parties who become unintentionally involved in these cases as HarrCo did in this book. I will assume Campbell has the details correct.

I'm more interested in the characters in the book. Sid Chance is a very likable protagonist with enough back story to see him through several books worth of cases. His park ranger background and his escapes to his cabin in the woods, gives Sid some depth as a person-more than the average washed up cop turned PI. On the other hand, I found his friend Jaz LeMieux interesting, but sort of illusive in this book. In future books I'd like to get to know her better. Hopefully there will be more books in this series.

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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