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Spiral: A John Francis Cuddy Mystery / Jeremiah Healy. [Hardcover]

Jeremiah F. Healy , J. F. Healy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 1999 John Francis Cuddy Mystery
The creator of "exciting, thoughtful, wily fiction" (The Washington Post), Jeremiah Healy has won critical raves for his John Francis Cuddy novels, "a superior series"(The New York Times Book Review). Now Healy pushes the envelope of mystery writing with a soul-searching tale that plunges Cuddy into his own private nightmare. Some mysteries have no answers -- like why an airplane falls out of the sky, and why the woman you love was onboard that flight. When unfathomable tragedy strikes Boston private investigator John Francis Cuddy, all he can do is begin to grieve. There's no revenge. No perp. And no cure except time. But when Cuddy is jarred by a call for help from an old Vietnam-era comrade, time is a luxury he can't afford. Cuddy goes because he has to. And what he finds in Fort Lauderdale is a tragedy that rivals his own: a proud vet brought down by a stroke, searching for his granddaughter's killer. The girl was found dead in Colonel Nicolas Helides' heavily guarded mansion on the Intracoastal Waterway. Thirteen years old and far from innocent, Veronica Helides was hardly protected by her family's wealth. Used by her own father to revive his music career and the fortunes of a band named Spiral, Veronica had been molded into a sexually provocative rock starlet. By the time someone drowned her at her grandfather's birthday party, murder was merely the last crime committed against her. Now Cuddy is picking apart a cast of players in the life of Colonel Helides and the granddaughter everyone called "Very." From Helides' younger, depressive son to former groupies; from a mysterious spiritual advisor to the woman who married the colonel for his money and the license it would buy her, Cuddy is seeing the worst of human nature at a time when his own heart is broken in two. If that were not enough, the killing of a precocious victim may not have been the isolated act it first appeared. In a powerful and mesmerizing novel of uncontrollable love, rage, and loyalty among families and friends, John Francis Cuddy isn't just trying to catch a killer -- he's trying to stop himself from free-falling into the ultimate human darkness.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (1 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671009559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671009557
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,137,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeremiah Healy is the creator of the John Francis Cuddy private-investigator series and the author (under the pseudonym "Terry Devane") of the Mairead O'Clare legal thrillers. Of his eighteen novels and three collections of short stories, fifteen have either won or been nominated for the Shamus Award.

A former sheriff's officer and military police captain, Healy is a graduate of Rutgers College and the Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Boston before teaching for eighteen years at New England Law--Boston.

Healy's first novel, BLUNT DARTS, was published in 1984 and introduced Cuddy, the Boston-based private eye who has become his best-known character. Moral, honest--and violent, when need-be--Cuddy focuses on solving cases that have fallen through the cracks of the formal judicial system. Healy is currently at work on the fourteenth Cuddy novel.

Product Description

About the Author

Jeremiah Healy is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He won the Shamus Award for The Staked Goat, and has been nominated five additional times for Best Novel and five times for Best Short Story. Spiral is the thirteenth book in his acclaimed series featuring John Francis Cuddy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! Can't put it down! 23 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Dark, passionate, gripping are only three words to describe a thriller impossible to put down! One of Healy's best yet!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than ever 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Private Investigator John Cuddy drops his beloved Nancy Meagher at Boston's Logan Airport so the Suffolk County prosecutor can attend an educational conference in San Francisco. However Flight 133 crashed, probable cause being El Nino. Nancy was reported dead with her body not recovered.
Still recovering from the shock, John goes to Florida where he meets an old buddy from his military police days in Saigon. Justo Vega asks John to help the "Skipper", their former Commanding Officer Nicholas Helides. Apparently, Nicholas believes someone murdered his teenage granddaughter, even though the official report and the media believe the girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool. Skipper wants Nicholas to uncover the identity of the killer.
The thirteenth Cuddy novel is an interesting, well-written tale that refreshes the series as the lead protagonist SPIRALs into a much darker novel than usual. The story line rips the guts open on the characters
exposing their raw energies and dire emotions. John is included in exposing his rawest nerves even as he remains a caring, grieving individual. Jeremiah Healy has written one of the better albeit gloomiest entries in a tremendous series.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Francis Cuddy returns with a vengence 12 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Jeremiah Healy has brought his erstwhile series character, John Francis Cuddy, Boston PI, back. After losing the second love of his life to a plane crash, he is called upon to help his Vietnam commander, one Nicholas Helides, now wheelchair bound, determine who murdered his 13 year rock singer/sexual teaser granddaughter. Cuddy finds himself in Fort Lauderdale, a place usually thought of as a bedroom community for Miami, but which below its staid surface boils like hot oil into which drops of water has fallen. Cuddy must deal with a world-class dysfunctional family, cops with a cruelty gene, violent rednecks, hookers, and the rock group Spiral, whose problems would take longer to list than the side effects to Viagra. Cuddy displays just how tough he is, as he takes more than his share of physical abuse from a number of people. Healy has pushed the envelope in dealing with issues relating to children and their sexuality. He pulls it off brilliantly and without being exploitive. That's the mark of a great writer, which Jeremiah Healy again proves he is. This is definitely one to read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiral 17 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved the book and I love the character of John Cuddy, however, I was extremely disappointed that his new love, Nancy Meagher, died. I loved the interaction building between the two of them throughout the novels and will definitely miss it continuing. I think John Cuddy has enough to deal with without having to find a new love and I feel that he needs love and companionship in his life. He will now be afraid to love anyone else again in fear that he will lose her. I hope that since they did not find the body, that Nancy somehow comes back.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! Can't put it down! 23 Aug 1999
By Marisa D'Vari, author of "Script Magic" - Published on
Dark, passionate, gripping are only three words to describe a thriller impossible to put down! One of Healy's best yet!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drags a lot in the middle 9 Dec 2006
By David W. Nicholas - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not the typical John Francis Cuddy book. For one thing, Healy's always been a dependable detective novelist, with the right mix of suspense and intrigue, and a plot that leaves you wondering who the killer is. In this instance, instead, the book's almost 400 pages long, and you have the feeling that it's almost overwhelmed by the dialog. I actually looked when I reached the end of one sequence, and nothing had happened except conversations for about 90 pages. Then the author throws in a knife fight, almost as if he knows he's gone overboard, but he needs all of the clues he didn't plant. Nothing really seems to come from the conversations, either.

I wish I could have reviewed this book more positively: I've liked other books in the series considerably more, though it's been a while since I read one. This one just didn't click with me.
2.0 out of 5 stars I tried to believe it......... 18 Jun 2002
By pjaatpdx - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book on the basis of the reviews I had read here. This was my first Healy novel, and I had high expectations. Knowing that a good novel, or movie, has to make one suspend disbelief, I was surprised to find in the first chapter circumstances surrounding the murder of 13 year old to be a little unbelieveable. For example, the security cameras in the mansion of her grandfather being turned off during the commission of the crime because a 15 year old friend of the victim wanted to make his own video of the party, and didn't want any competition from any other videotape. Bit of a stretch, eh? Oh, and she could sing like Janis Joplin?
Anyway, as we move along, several interesting characters develop, but weaving them all together requires so much imagination, and often re reading, that the plot development struggles as much as our hero. Although the perpetrator is a bit of surprise, the movement of the other characters is a bit shallow and predictable. I'd skip this one.
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