Z. K. Burrus. Senestre on Vacation. Livingston, AL: Livingston Press, 2011.

Thomas Senestre delights in sarcasm (if he delights in anything), even if his acerbic commentary remains mostly unvoiced. Recently promoted by default to Lieutenant in the Jackson City Police Department, he knows he leads a tepid life at best; that of a rather inept, single, insomniac policeman eking out existence in a cramped, cockroach-infested apartment. His closest friend and drinking partner is the city undertaker, which seems to fit Senestre’s personality perfectly. So Senestre drinks. And snarks.

This existence is rudely interrupted by a plea for help from a woman claiming to be a friend of his wayward mother. Adora Phelps is being stalked, or thinks she is, and begs her friend’s policeman son to come do some snooping of his own. Suspicious and feeling vaguely put-upon, Senestre nonetheless answers her summons to the small Outer Banks town of Pantego, where he encounters irritating locals, the batty Adora, and water (which he hates). Is Adora truly in danger? Will Senestre unwittingly learn who his absent father was? Will he ever manage to fall asleep?

Z.K. Burrus’ brooding debut novel bites its way to a grisly, suspenseful end. Set in locations based on Elizabeth City and Manteo, North Carolina, local readers may not recognize their sunny home state through the sleep-deprived, cryptic eyes of Thomas Senestre, but they will surely chuckle over his dark witticisms.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

2 Comments

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Burrus, Z. K., Camden, Coast, Dare, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Pasquotank, Suspense/Thriller

2 Responses to Z. K. Burrus. Senestre on Vacation. Livingston, AL: Livingston Press, 2011.

  1. I just used this book as one of the examples in a workshop last night called “In The Middle of Things”. Loved this book. The chapter on how Senestre chose his apartment is breathtaking. The scenery fantastic. You feel chilly and wet the entire time. The character is a sassy smart fellow you miss at the end of the book.

  2. I just used this book as one of the examples in a workshop last night called “In The Middle of Things”. Loved this book. The chapter on how Senestre chose his apartment is breathtaking. You feel chilly and wet the entire time. The character is a sassy smart fellow you miss at the end of the book.

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