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“Killing Neptune's Daughter ”

written by Harriet Klausner on 10/12/2005

Killing Neptune's Daughter
Randall Peffer
Speck, Dec 2005, $14.00, 249 pp.
ISBN: 1933108053

After all the bad things she did, and the things that were done to her, Tina left Woods Hole on Cape Cod when she finished eleventh grade. She totally remade herself into another woman named Noelle, and married a famous rock star who was a heavy drug user and wife cheater. Their exploits were featured in the media at every opportunity as tabloid favorites. One night Noelle leaves her Greenwich Village apartment and goes to her favorite spot, the St. Lukes in-the-Fields where a man rapes her before killing her with a marlinspike.

Also living in the Village is sports reporter Billy Bagswell, and even though he only met her once since they both began residing in New York City, he returns home to Woods Hole for her funeral. When Tina was living in Woods Hole, she was a slut, having sex with who she chose and reveling in the power it gave her. Unlike NYPD, mutual friend Catholic priest Father Zal and Billy think the killer lives in Woods Hole and has nothing to do with Noelle's New York lifestyle. The friends reminisce about the bad old days and begin to piece together the various puzzle parts of Tina's life, trying to conceptualize who had a motive to kill a former Woods Hole resident.

KILLING NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER is not a pretty book, but it accurately reflects the darker goings on between high school students. One can't help but feel sorry for the victim because circumstances forced her to behave the way she did, and each of her "friends" have their own guilt to bear. Randall Peffer is a talented writer who gives new meaning to the phrase vigilante justice.

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