Where the Body Was

Image Comics. Jan. 2024. 144p. ISBN 9781534398269. $24.99. M
Prolific collaborators Brubaker and Phillips follow their surrealistic thriller Night Fever with this playfully experimental, though no less grittily gripping, stand-alone whodunit-style murder mystery set in a suburban neighborhood over the summer of 1984. Tommy is infatuated with Karina, a runaway with a habit of stealing cash and jewelry from the homes surrounding the boarding house where they live. They’re both wary of running afoul of Palmer, a bullying police detective enjoying a passionate affair with Toni, the dissatisfied wife of a prominent psychiatrist who seems to be engaged in some sort of secret conspiracy with a Vietnam War veteran living in the woods near their home. They all live under the watchful eye of a lonely preadolescent girl named Lila, who, disguised as the masked hero Roller Derby Girl, regularly patrols the neighborhood in search of any evil forces in need of vanquishing. One afternoon she finds a dead body instead, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of all involved forever.
VERDICT A fast-paced mystery, propelled by a fascinating cast of characters, that builds to a profoundly moving and deeply romantic climax. Absolutely not to be missed.
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