Michael Biehl’s first two novels, mysteries featuring medical law, were highly critically acclaimed. Now he enters new territory with an intensely introspective mystery, so finely written that Seven Mile Bridge transcends the genre—but still keeps you turning pages to find out who, if anyone, did it.
Jonathan Bruckner, a middle-aged Florida Keys diveshop owner with a taste for whiskey and not much else, has returned to his Wisconsin childhood home after his mother’s death. He knows he should tidy up, sell the house, and get back to the Keys. But he admits his journey home has deeper objectives.
“I didn’t travel from Marathon, Florida, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and close my dive shop for three weeks because I thought I would find valuables or money in the house on Foxglove Lane. I came because I thought I might find answers.”
What he finds in sifting through the sad remnants of his once-happy family life spins him back to the quest that obsessed him in his early adult years. When he was seventeen, he found his father dead in the garage. All the grownups said it was suicide, but Jonathan thought he knew better. He risked his life and compromised his future trying to find his father’s killer.
He has lived his entire adult life under the cloud of his father’s death, isolated by suspicion and frustrated by his failure to uncover the truth. He now has one final chance to solve the mystery and track down whoever was responsible.
“Now, more than half my adult life is behind me, and where am I? Fearful that the blood of monsters runs in my veins, hoping for vindication, desperate for resolution one way or the other.”
As he searches for clues to his father’s death, Jonathan is stunned by what he discovers about his father’s life, and comes to know his parents in a way he never did as a child. He is shocked to find that he may have had a sister he never knew, and rediscovers his relationship with his schizophrenic brother. Mostly, he is surprised by what he learns about himself.
Fluidly moving between past and present, between hope and despair, Seven Mile Bridge is a story about one man’s obsession with the truth, and how much can depend on finding it.
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