The Archer is the 13th in Betty Sullivan LaPierre’s “Hawkman” series. The Hawkman is Tom Casey, private investigator. His nom de guerre comes from his avocation as a falconer.
Laura King stumbles into the Hawkman’s office one afternoon. She is being stalked and she doesn’t know who is doing it. She keeps getting disturbing, almost pornographic, cell phone calls and she doesn’t know why. Tom Casey is intrigued and takes on her case and with his entry into the matter, the situation escalates. Someone starts taking shots at Tom with bow and arrow, with a very serious bow, a compound bow.
Tom seeks out local arrow enthusiasts and correlates them with those Laura is involved with. Laura is a nice girl, rather shy with little social life so the cause of the malevolence focused on her is as much a part of the mystery as who the perpetrator is.
Tom utilizes modern technology and good old fashioned investigative technique to winnow away the multiple possibilities. The answer to the questions of why and who are rooted in the age old reason of envy, greed and selfishness.
This story is a bit mannered, a little old fashioned, but in a way that enhances the character of the Hawkman. LaPierre’s characters are of the times but Tom Casey’s relationships are just a little out of sync with modern sensibilities. Casey’s character is informed by the back-story (this is the 13th in the series) but LaPierre manages to convey that back-story without slowing down the pace of this adventure. In LaPierre’s world bad acts do have consequences, whether those acts are mischievous or murderous.
The Archer is comfortable, almost cozy. The characters are likable and knowable. The story is not predictable and LaPierre manages to maintain tension until the very end of the tale, where the good guys win. This is a good book for a cup of tea and a rainy day… or whenever you want to just have a nice read.