In the fifth Leonid McGill novel, Leonid finds himself in an unusual pickle of trying to balance his cases with his chaotic personal life. Read more...
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In the fifth Leonid McGill novel, Leonid finds himself in an unusual pickle of trying to balance his cases with his chaotic personal life. Leonid's father is still out there somewhere, and his wife is in an uptown sanitarium trying to recover from the deep depression that led to her attempted suicide in the previous novel. His wife's condition has put a damper on his affair with Aura Ullman, his girlfriend. And his son, Twill, has been spending a lot of time out of the office with his own case, helping a young thief named Fortune and his girlfriend, Liza.
Meanwhile, Leonid is approached by an unemployed office manager named Hiram Stent to track down the whereabouts of his cousin, Celia, who is about to inherit millions of dollars from her father's side of the family. Leonid declines the case, but after his office is broken into and Hiram is found dead, he gets reeled into the underbelly of Celia's wealthy old-money family. It's up to Leonid to save who he can and incriminate the guilty; all while helping his son finish his own investigation; locating his own father; reconciling (whatever that means) with his wife and girlfriend; and attending the wedding of Gordo, his oldest friend.
- ISBN-13: 9780385539180
- ISBN-10: 0385539185
- Publisher: Doubleday
- Publish Date: May 2015
- Page Count: 271
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
Whodunit: Murder, politics and other unnatural disasters
It has been six years since I picked up Attica Locke’s debut, Black Water Rising, in which activist-turned-attorney Jay Porter rescued a drowning woman and set off a sequence of events that reverberated through the halls of Houston’s power elite. In Locke’s latest thriller, Pleasantville, Porter is recently widowed and struggling to keep his life on track as he looks into the case of a missing political volunteer. As an environmental law practitioner, Porter is best known for having won a huge settlement against an oil company (for which he has yet to be paid), so an abduction/murder case is a bit outside his area of expertise. The crime scene complicates matters, as Pleasantville is an upwardly mobile black suburb pivotal to the Houston mayoral election. The outcome of the trial and the election are intertwined in ways that Porter cannot begin to imagine. Fans of Louise Penny or Sara Paretsky should buy all of Locke’s books and start reading. She’s that good.
TERRORISM IN FRANCE
Murders don’t happen often in quiet Saint-Denis, France, the home of Bruno, Chief of Police. But within moments of the opening of Martin Walker’s new mystery, The Children Return, Bruno is slapped upside the head with one of the most difficult cases of his career. An undercover agent is brutally assaulted with a hot cattle prod and left mutilated almost beyond recognition. When Bruno is called to the scene, his experiences as a policeman have in no way prepared him for this degree of barbarity. It comes to light that the victim was involved in the investigation of jihadists, which provides the perfect segue into the next event to rock St. Denis: the reappearance of Sami, an autistic young man suspected to have been recruited by Islamic terrorists. Sami is a veritable wealth of information on the inner workings of al-Qaeda, so the good guys want to debrief him immediately, and the bad guys want to silence him sooner than that. Thus, at the drop of a beret, Saint-Denis takes reluctant center stage in the war on terrorism. Nicely crafted with sensitivity and humo(u)r, The Children Return is tailor-made for fans of Peter Mayle, Colin Cotterill and Alexander McCall Smith.
I had some initial trepidation about reviewing Anne Hillerman’s debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, which continued her father Tony Hillerman’s series featuring Navajo tribal cops Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. But Hillerman fille put my fears to rest with her Tony-like, unembellished writing style and the fleshing out of some of the female characters. The second installment in the series, Rock with Wings, finds Leaphorn sitting on the sidelines, thanks to a bullet wound that by rights should have dispatched him to his final reward. Confining Leaphorn to the bench certainly doesn’t shut him up, and he serves as a sounding board and mentor for Chee and Chee’s wife, policewoman Bernadette Manuelito, as they struggle through a pair of perplexing cases, one involving the murder of a film company employee on the set of a B-grade zombie flick, and another featuring a very suspicious character furtively moving boxes of desert soil around the Southwest in the back of a rented Chevy Malibu. For chapters at a time, I totally forgot I was not reading Tony Hillerman’s writing, a strong compliment both to Anne and her much-missed dad.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
Yeah, yeah, I know. One more Walter Mosley book, one more Top Pick, a recurring theme. But here’s the thing: Mosley’s series featuring NYC private eye Leonid McGill has done what nobody expected, garnering critical acclaim and loyal readership to rival the author’s legendary Easy Rawlins books. The latest, And Sometimes I Wonder About You, finds the diminutive PI hot on the trail of a purported rare manuscript thief—although in this case, “purported” refers to the rare manuscript, not the thief, because the stolen papers are anything but an important antiquity. Instead, they are something of a modern-day salacious headline generator that one or more people are willing to kill for. The McGill mysteries always have lots going on, and this one is no exception: Our protagonist is dallying with no fewer than three beautiful women, one of whom is his suicidal wife; his long-thought-dead father shows up for a familial encore; and his son Twilliam finds himself caught up in the machinations of a shadowy underworld figure who manipulates a city-wide team of underage lawbreakers. The Easy Rawlins and McGill series are wildly different from one another, but I would be hard-pressed to choose which I prefer.