Retired UA math professor writes
dark tale of Caribbean skullduggery
The Body in the Perch Pond, by Copley resident Douglas Ewan Cameron, is an “Up North Two Mystery” in which a retiree finds a skeleton near his Michigan home. His new suspense novel, Payback is a Bitch, is darker.
The narrator, Stuart Andrews, is a successful self-described financial adviser. He and his wife take a Caribbean cruise, accompanied by her brother, Howard. Stuart and Howard charter a fishing trip, and while Stuart is standing on deck, Howard bashes him over the head and throws him overboard to drown.
But Stuart manages to struggle to shore and, while he tries to lie low and figure out what Howard’s motive is for wanting him dead (is Stuart’s wife involved?) and plan his revenge, he reveals his secrets to the reader, like an alternate identity and certain irregularities in his business practices.
Cameron unfolds the first half of the story like a spy novel, involving the reader in Stuart’s country-hopping, with cryptic phone calls, passwords and countersigns as he assembles his assets and lays his trap.
He finds a confederate in Joaquin, a Filipino sailor with a story of his own. The story shifts occasionally to Howard and his accomplices, who eye each other with suspicion and paranoia as they wait for Stuart’s estate to be settled. Their paranoia is justified.
The pace slows as the book turns into a courtroom drama, involving extradition issues and the intricacies of the legal system of Cameron’s Caribbean setting. After the earlier excitement, this part could be trimmed.
Payback is a Bitch (358 pages, softcover) costs $18.99 from online retailers.
Douglas Ewan Cameron is a retired professor of mathematics from the University of Akron.
‘Day of the Dawg’
In Day of the Dawg: A Football Memoir, former Cleveland Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon returns us to the mid-’80s and the Dawg Pound of Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where fans wearing dog masks hurled Milk-Bones at visiting players while exasperated officials tried to hear each other over the frenzied barking.
It was Dixon and teammate Frank Minnifield who came up with the idea at the 1985 training camp, and the Cleveland fans’ reputation for unruly behavior didn’t take long to spread. When a retired Dallas Cowboy working in the Browns’ front office suggested that Dixon trademark the term, Dixon’s lawyer learned that the Browns already had trademarked it through the NFL. Dixon was furious.
What is a thoughtful, but not really unusual, sports memoir takes a turn with the stark title of Chapter Eight, “I Am Responsible for Donnie Rogers’ Death.” Rogers, a gifted 1984 draftee, was Dixon’s team little brother, and Rogers asked Dixon to be in his wedding, scheduled for late June 1986. At a bachelor party, which Dixon describes as “no big deal,” Rogers walked out the door with two women; he would be dead within a day, “with five times the fatal dose of cocaine in his system.” Dixon accepts the responsibility for not stopping him, and also says that had Rogers not died, the Browns would have won at least two Super Bowls.
Dixon’s other topics include the Browns’ endless quest to beat the Steelers, the grace of Walter Payton in his fight with cancer and Dixon’s gratitude that the 1987 strike gave him time to spend with his dying mother.
Day of the Dawg (238 pages, softcover) costs $14.95 from Gray and Company. Hanford Dixon is a real estate agent in Cleveland, and his co-author, Randy Nyerges, lives in Berea.
Reserve your place now to hear Cleveland native Daniel Stashower speak from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Beachwood branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library.
In addition to his new book, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, Stashower is author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder; he has won Edgar, Agatha and Anthony awards. Call 216-831-6868.
Nighttown (12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights) — Case Western Reserve University professor Michael Clune reads from and signs Writing Against Time, which “focuses on the intersection between literature and science,” 3 to 5 p.m. today.
Stark County District Library (Lake Community branch, 11955 Market Ave. N., Uniontown) — Pamela King Cable signs her debut novel Televenge, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake) — Hollywood Confidential radio host Leeza Gibbons signs Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings, 7 p.m. Thursday.
Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Poets Miles Budimir (Departures), Bree (Let Cupid Know) and Steve Goldberg (Tremont Crawl) read from their works, 7 p.m. Friday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (381 Boardman-Poland Road, Youngstown) — Young-adult authors Colleen Clayton (What Happens Next), Leah Clifford, Lisa Roecker (who, with her sister Laura, wrote The Lies that Bind, second in The Liar Society series) and Scott Tracey (the Witch Eyes paranormal series), 1 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or email@example.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.