By R Weir
P.I. Jarvis Mann is back with not one, not two, but three cases in one. First up, he’s hired by his ex-girlfriends father to track down a serial killer who’s been absent for 22 years, but has recently started slaughtering women. Or is he? Is the killer the suspected individual from two decades ago? A copycat? Just when he’s getting started on that, he’s hired by a friend to track down a weapons dealer who killed said friends family. As if that couldn’t keep him busy enough, a couple Asians drop by wanting Mann to track down a Russian the P.I. knows. Can Mann survive all of these cases? Or has he jumped in the deep end without no life preserver? Tracking down clues and following leads, Mann bounces from Colorado to California and back again. Oh, and getting a little romance and resurrecting some old emotions.
Okay, my epub version was 431 pages and I wondered how is Weir going to fill this many pages without letting it drag. Well, unfortunately, when one tries to have too many stories going on, at least one tends to get the short end of the stick. The Asian case drew the short straw this time...sort of. There’s a connection with some events that happen to Mann that tie into the Asian vs Russian assignment. It’s not too bad of a way to keep things connected.
The main case is the serial killer. The weapons dealer case gets some attention and wraps up pretty well...sort of. The author left it open for a possible ‘next chapter’ where Mann could possibly be involved if it works out that way.
Anyway, I liked the plot(s) and the author laid it out pretty well, with plenty of action and intrigue, some sarcasm, humor, and sex.
Jarvis Mann: P.I., 6’, parents and brother dead, owns a Harley and a Mustang
Jonas Diaz: late 50s, married w/daughter, slender, gray thin hair, freelance writer
Doris Zahn: brown/gray hair, profiler, widow
Simon Lions: suffered a stroke, black/gray thin hair
Then there is the FBI agent who can’t seem to not be mad all the time, Mann’s friend Rocky, a black guy named Wolfe who’s not one to mess with, April who is Mann’s current girlfriend, Melissa who is Mann’s ex-gf.
All the characters are pretty good and well written. Weir did some nice work with Lions and how he says and doesn’t say things.
Good voices. As mentioned above, the dialogues between Lions and Mann are well written with just enough frustration on Mann’s part to keep the reader guessing.
There were some problems on tag lines with capitalization and punctuation.
All of the characters, at various times have a habit of speaking without contractions and it gets me every time. One, maybe two might work.
Profanity. 1st person from Mann’s POV except a few times with the third person POV of the killer. Also a problem of POV ‘head-hopping’ in one scene between the killer and one of his victim. The POV kept switching, which threw me.
Other than those mentioned, the writing was clean. The book, for the most part, was well balanced between P.I. legwork with interviews and action. Mann doesn’t come out of this without some beatings and worse, but I won’t play spoiler.
I like a good old fashioned hard-nosed investigator and Weir has written a complex, intricate, multi-faceted web of a mystery. Settle in for a spell of reading (431 pages. I mean, really! Lol).
Oh, and before you read this one, you might want to read his others. This one, for the most part, stands alone, and if this had been my first book, it would have been okay, but it does refer to events in previous books.
So, another Mann mystery in the can and one wonders what comes next.