Sam Moore is buying plants for his garden when the phone rings. An old med school friend, now local coroner, wants him to see a dead body, and, for all that Sam’s a retired doctor, he definitely prefers the company of living patients.
Aaron Paul Lazar’s gentle prose brings the scents of a summer garden to life, together with rippling shade of forest and cool clear waters of lake. Characters are vividly real and welcoming too, with pitch-perfect dialog around the dinner table, a wonderful grandfather dealing with a two-year-old’s tantrum, and the awkward embarrassment of past secrets becoming public knowledge.
Sam’s long-lost brother plays an important part in this tale of course, since he provides the impetus for the series. The touches of paranormal as Sam interacts with him are beautifully portrayed and intriguingly told. Sadness, sickness and loss provide a deep counterpoint to the joy and love of familial affections, and there’s a powerful reality and sympathy in the telling making this a very moving novel.
For Keeps is third in Aaron Paul Lazar’s Sam Moore series. But the author has a wonderful way with memories and the past—new readers could read this book on its own and wouldn’t lose the thread. Warmth of garden, relationships, sunshine and honest hard work build together to a heartwarming mystery with gentle mystique, deeply honest sympathy, and the promise of joy abounding. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.