Uncertain who to trust, Jake—a good cop who joined the force “to serve and protect”—endeavors to find the truth before anyone else winds up dead, including him. Fayman adds authenticity to this brisk, twisty mystery with a richly evoked milieu, from beach mansions to sea caves to a Hollywood premiere, and historical figures with a real La Jolla connection. Their fictionalized dialogue and motivations feel fitting to the genre—Chandler even tips Jake off to classic noir elements like the possible corruption of the police department and the captain he works for.
The story finds Jake’s faith in institutions tested as he learns that even Hoover is not upstanding in either how he treats others or in his blatant racist remarks. Bursts of action and romance are effective, but it is Fayman’s stunning conclusion, with Jake faced with the reality of not trusting anyone in his professional life, and the hint of future installments, that will resonate most with readers.
Takeaway: A young cop can trust no one in this superior 1950s California noir.
Comparable Titles: Steph Cha’s Follow Her Home, Jordan Harper’s
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A