Unabridged Audiobook, 9 hrs., 17 min
Read: April 20-21, 2020
When I talked about the first installment in this series last year, I said, “There’s something about this one that got under my skin more than a typical procedural does—it’s maybe DC Smith, it’s maybe Grainger’s style (there’s a lot of subtle humor in a dark text)—it’s a Gestalt thing, I think. I really dug it.” I’m tempted to leave this at that, too. But that’s giving this short shrift.
There are three main stories—the least interesting to me (at present, but it keeps coming up, so I expect that it’ll be of vital importance and interest at some point) is the “big case” that defined Smith’s career. There’s a True Crime writer who wants to revisit the case with DC’s help. There’s a couple of good moments revolving this, but I’m not (yet) seeing the appeal.
The more interesting thread centers on DC Smith’s future. Smith’s old partner, and father of the newly-minted detective Smith’s training, owns a private security firm and wants him to come aboard in a senior position. At the same time, there’s an opportunity that many are urging Smith to take in a regional criminal investigation task force. But Smith’s inclination is to stick with his current duty—but he’s tempted by both over the course of the novel.
But the focus for the book is a death in a retirement home that’s identified as suspicious. Smith and his team start investigating this pretty colorful home. The characters—staff and residents—are well-drawn, colorful and the kind of characters you want to spend time with. The case goes pretty much how you’d expect (motive, culprit, and resolution), but there are a couple of twists that keep the reader/listener on their toes. Watching Smith and his colleagues pursue the killer is the joy in this. The pleasure is in the journey, not just the destination here.
Once again, Jackson weaves a spell with his narration—he sucked me in once again. A perfect combination of narrator and text.
A solid follow-up novel, that also provides plenty of incentive to move on to the rest. This is a series you should jump into—in print or audio.
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