By Fred Lichtenberg
Homicide detective Charlie Quinn is on medical leave when he’s involved in an auto accident. The other driver is a smart talking redhead named Jill Walsh. However, it’s Walsh’s male friend, Frankie Marcone who is more interesting. Marcone, apparently, is a dead ringer for Quinn. When Quinn discovers Marcone died in his own auto accident, he starts an investigation that takes him from hisFloridahome toNew York City. There he discovers Marcone was part of the mob, involved with stolen diamonds, and his twin brother about which nobody bothered to inform Quinn. To uncover the truth…and the lies and even to save his own life, Quinn assumes a dead man’s identity.
Lichtenberg doesn’t fool around but gets right into the plot. This is intricate with secrets revealed at every turn. I had to pay attention to what little details were related with each chapter or I’d get lost and have to re-read a few passages. The twin aspect is often seen in both books and movies but I like Lichtenberg’s take on it.
Charlie Quinn: Fort Lauderdalehomicide detective of ten years. On medical leave for attempted suicide and alcohol abuse. Fiancée changed her mind about marriage. Smokes. Only child, parents divorced when he was eleven and later his dad committed suicide. Drives a 2001PontiacGrand Prix GT Coupe
Margaret Noonan: Police psychiatrist, blue eyes, soft spoken
Marie DiGiorno: Barely five feet tall, niece of the owner of a New York funeral home, wears glasses, long black hair, small lips, bolemic
Antonio Villa: Nicknamed “Lucky”, boss of the mob, short, paunchy, around 70, black eyes, smokes cigars, wears a toupee
There are some very good characters here, ones I can easily see in the mind’s eye. I kept visualizing this as if I were in a theatre watching the actors on the screen. The gangsters, the molls, the flunkies. And the lone hero trying to wade through it all.
Conversations do not drag. Every line moves the story along. There are some typical mobster language and phrasing but nothing too cliché. Some good distinctive voices.
This book moves along at a fairly good clip without dragging in obvious places. Various lengths to a lot of chapters. There’s always something leading the reader to the next chapter, some new clue to followed. Action scenes are quick and tight. There are instances of profanity. A few punctuation/misspelling errors but nothing distracting. This one had a unique feel to it because at times I felt there wasn’t any depth to it. Then as I kept reading, I realized there was more to it than at first glance. There are subtle layers touched upon every so often. This one travels: fromFloridatoNew YorktoMexico. I should give this a blue belt because of the errors, but because I enjoyed the story throughout, I think I can make an exception with this one and just ask that the editing be more thorough next time.