“Swann’s Way Out”–Review

51q6G4-8iKLGood evening, all! I finally had the opportunity to read the fourth Henry Swann novel. If you haven’t read the first three, I highly encourage you to do so, especially if you like some good detective fiction.

The story begins with skip tracer Henry Swann, at a poker game, who is trying to figure out what he’s supposed to do with his life. After all, he’s spent years taking on cases involving delinquents, runaways, thieves, etc. He wasn’t quite sure if being a skip tracer was actually his calling. After the game, however, Swann is offered a case which sends him to Hollywood in order to find Rusty Jacobs, the man responsible for embezzling $1,000,000 from his client. All Swann has to do is get the money back and all will be okay. Swann does find Jacobs, but learns that this wannabe film producer is convinced his movie project will make it big in the Christian market. As for the $1,000,000 that was used to make the movie trailer? It seems to have disappeared. While Swann’s client claims the money was stolen, Jacobs claims it was used as an investment. Although Swann’s motive is to just get the money back—he couldn’t really care less for the reason for the so-called investments—he can’t help wondering who’s telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Swann has another job thrown at him—thanks to his business partner, Goldblatt—where he has to help another client in the New York City art world who may have been defrauded on the purchase of a valuable painting that may or may not be a fake.

While it all seems to be one thing after another, Swann gets a call regarding his estranged teenage son who has run away from his grandparents’ home in Minnesota and has possibly joined a cult. Now a guilt-ridden Swann must take time out from his paying cases to find the son he hasn’t seen in years.

This installment is definitely worth reading. Henry Swann is the best! Like the first three books, this one also has excellent narration and dialogue. Everything just gets right to the point. I enjoyed the quirky relationship between Swann and Goldblatt. Great humor, sarcasm, and Swann doesn’t take BS from anyone.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Charles Salzberg is the author of the Shamus Award-nominated Swann’s Last Song, as well as the sequels, Swann Dives In and Swann’s Lake of Despair. He is also the author of Devil in the Hole, which was chosen as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2013 by Suspense magazine. He lives in New York City and teaches writing at the Writer’s Voice and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is proud to be a founding member. For more info about the author, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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“Double Switch”–Review

51Zp6zShDPL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Blackmail.  Bullets.  Deception.  It’s time to play ball.

Johnny Adcock—the aging major-league relief pitcher who also works as a private investigator—is back in a follow-up thriller to The Setup Man.

Johnny has the bullpen as his office.  The bullpen is where he’s sitting, shelling out sunflower seeds after a game, when he is approached by Tiff Tate—the career-making stylist behind the most highly marketable looks in Major League Baseball.  Tiff needs Johnny’s help with her new client, Yonel Ruiz, a rookie phenom who had risked his life to flee his native Cuba for fame and fortune in the MLB.  Now that Ruiz has a signed contract with the League, the Venezuelan cartel that smuggled him out has sent out a ruthless assassin, known as La Loba, to collect.

Although the front office wants to shut down Johnny’s side work, Johnny takes on the case—with the corporate fixer and “director of security” keeping a close watch on him.  This new case leaves Johnny in more deadly situations that not only threaten to end his baseball career, but may be the end of him.

I was definitely satisfied with this book.  With excellent narration and dialogue, the story had one surprise and twist after another.  The ending wasn’t what I expected, either, but I liked it.  Johnny Adcock is clever and sexy, in my opinion.  I don’t know much about baseball, but I do enjoy a good mystery.  Also, Reader, this book is not for children.  Feel free to post your comments.  Double Switch is now available.

Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Doubleday for an honest review.

About the author: T.T. Monday is the pseudonym of novelist Nick Taylor, author of The Disagreement and Father Junipero’s Confessor.  Double Switch is his second novel to feature Johnny Adcock, following The Setup Man.  For more info, click here.  Follow him on Twitter.

“The Setup Man”–Review

51u8oWwsarL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, this is some good detective/mystery fiction.

In The Setup Man, Johnny Adcock is an aging pitcher for the Major Leagues, along with a perfect retirement plan: working as a private investigator.  With the brain and brawn, Johnny knows Major League Baseball is a good source of employment while, at the same time, handling the unique problems of professional athletes.  Baseball salaries have always attracted gangsters, hustlers, and predators of all types who prey on the players’ egos.  When players, coaches, agents, or wives have problems they don’t want to make public, to whom do they turn?  Johnny Adcock.

While on the bus, after a game, Johnny’s teammate, Frankie Herrera, confides in Johnny that he has a “problem with his wife.”  Johnny takes on the case, assuming it’s just another marital issue, which can be common with athletes’ spouses.  The case becomes dangerous when Frankie winds up dead in a car accident, leaving too many unanswered questions.

The case takes Johnny into dangerous territory, stumbling upon a deadly ring of murder, porn, Mexican cartels, and a conspiracy that may threaten to become the biggest scandal to hit Major League Baseball.

Ballplayers lead exciting lives, don’t they?  Once I got toward the middle of this book, I had to keep reading.  I enjoyed the narration, including the dialogue.  I like how fast-paced it was, how it all just got to the point.  Should you read this book, as always, let me know what you think.

Up next, I’ll be reading Double Switch, the follow-up to The Setup Man.  I’ll keep you updated.  Happy reading!

About the author: T.T. Monday lives in San Jose, California.  The Setup Man is his first thriller.  For more info, click here.