________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 17. . . .January 8, 2016


Love and Fear. (A Gulliver Dowd Mystery). (Rapid Reads).

Reed Farrel Coleman.
Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca, 2016.
154 pp., trade pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0677-1 (pbk), ISBN 978-1-4598-0678-8 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0679-5 (epub).

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Teresa Iaizzo.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Gulliver Dowd had been this close to finding out why his sister was murdered. This close to finding out who had done it. He had held the envelope with the answers in his misshapen hands. He had also been the one to set the envelope on fire. For most of the last eight years, the answers to these two questions had been his reason for living. Keisha’s murder had haunted him. Driven him. Helped turn him into the man he was. Now he had to forget. He had to leave Keisha’s murder behind him. Why? Why does any man turn his back on the past? Love and fear.


And so begins Reed Farrel Coleman’s fourth installment in the “Gulliver Dowd” series. Reeling from his decision to let go of the past in the previous novel, The Boardwalk, Gulliver finds it is, in fact, very difficult to do so. As a result, his relationship with his girlfriend suffers, and he finds himself all alone once again.

     The story starts to get interesting when Tony, a mob enforcer for the notorious mob boss Joey Vespucci, visits Gulliver and lets him know that Joey’s youngest daughter, Bella, is gone. At first, Gulliver does not want the case as he despises both Tony and his boss; however, Tony confesses that Bella is actually his daughter and he is desperate to find her. Using his cunning and intelligence, Gulliver assembles a team, which includes Tony, and embarks on a mission to find the missing girl. Gulliver and his team have a long list of suspects, including Bella’s ex-boyfriend, a crazed art teacher, and even rival Mafia syndicates, but when the truth comes out about Bella’s disappearance, no one is prepared for it.

     Reed Farrel Coleman’s Love and Fear is a fast-paced mystery that will appeal to readers of this genre. Coleman’s quick and witty prose will make readers gobble this book up. Moreover, readers will also enjoy the trajectory of Gulliver’s character development. In this installment, readers really see Gulliver come to terms with his sister’s death by helping the very people who kept the truth from him in the beginning. If readers weren’t in love with Gulliver Dowd already, this book will make them true fans. Overall, I recommend this book to mystery fans the world over.


Teresa Iaizzo is a Senior Library Assistant with the Toronto Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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