Monday, January 30, 2012

Carl Brookins Reviews The Good, The Bad

Veteran Minnesota mystery writer and reviewer Carl Brookins has checked in with this review of The Good, The Bad and The Murderous:

This is Campbell's seventh novel of crime fiction. There are a number of strings to the plot and a sub-plot or two as well. They are all nicely balanced, in that the main crime, murder and Medicare fraud remains at the center of attention. Sid Chance is a private investigator in Tennessee. His occasional assistant is a wealthy ex-cop improbably named Jaz LeMieux. LeMieux has inherited a successful retail travel business. In this story, she's besieged by erroneous reports of having made damaging racial slurs and as the book develops she shares some risks with her buddy, Sid.

Chance is a former Special Forces veteran, a former Forestry ranger and small town police chief. Now he's dipping an experienced toe into different waters as he establishes himself as a private investigator. When a young man, fresh out of prison, is arrested for a murder, the case appears to be a slam dunk. But the accused man has a fervent supporter in his grandmother and she appeals to Jaz who turns to Sid. And as Sid remarks, "Do I sense Messers Pro and Bono arriving?"

Things spiral out of control as the motive for the murder becomes much more than originally considered and both Sid and Jaz are targeted. The writing is straightforward and very believable. There's plenty of detail but it's rarely more that we need. Characters, setting, plot points are all rational and nicely handled. Readers won't finish this novel musing over revealed heavy philosophical truths, but they will have a bang-up satisfying time skulking about and sliding through dark tunnels with Sid Chance and Jaz LeMieux.


Morgan Mandel said...

Grandmother knows best!

Morgan Mandel

Chester Campbell said...

And she lets them know.