Eamon rounds up a big list of people who might have been involved in Abner’s death and Eddie and Lydia’s disappearance, but most lack motive and opportunity, not to mention any contact with any of the three in at least two decades. Despite numerous dead ends, the interviews with these characters provide revelations that will keep readers turning the pages. Eamon’s dry, quick wit, evident intelligence, and ability to spin an amusing tale make him an appealing protagonist. His thinly sketched situation with his occasional lover, Heidi, gives readers a small reprieve from the tedious research, though his willingness to discuss his case with her belies his title of “private” investigator. His ambiguous morals make it hard to believe he’d turn in $20 million to get $2 million.
Helms oversimplifies the process of evidence-gathering. Eamon, recovering from a leg injury, relies heavily on searches in the online CyberShamus database to follow up on every lead. Red herrings proliferate throughout the plot. Readers who are new to the series might find it hard to connect to Eamon, who’s even more reserved than the stereotypical PI. Despite that, it’s still easy to root for him. The plot takes the scenic route to a surprising destination, and the premise is strong enough to keep readers hooked.
Takeaway: This page-turning mystery with a surprise ending provides a good starting point for fans of detective series.
Great for fans of James Ellroy, Ross Macdonald
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B