Wednesday, November 26, 2008
American Detective, by Loren D. Estleman
Hard-boiled detective Amos Walker of Detroit takes on a seemingly simple case: pay the suitor of an heir to walk away. The case quickly goes wrong, however, and Walker instead finds himself working for himself.
In his quest he comes across a former baseball hero, a suspicious land owner, a mob-style union organizer, and several other unsavory, interesting, and less-than-savory characters. The threads to the mystery seem to keep diverging and Walker can't just walk away. He has to tie them together, even if it means his life.
Walker doesn't believe there is much to his life anyway. His closest friend is a police detective with whom he trades unkind barbs and who has taken away his illegal gun more than once. He has no love life, no close family, not even a cat. What he does have is his skill and determination. That, along with his skill with words, is what keeps the story moving.
The dialogue at times is priceless. In fact, it was the rapid-fire verbal intercourse that held me most. The story hangs together well. The escapades are unbelievable, but we want to believe anyway.