The First Rule Of Ten
By Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
After dodging a serious gunshot injury, L.A. Homicide investigator and former monk Tenzing Norbu, turns in his badge to go private. The next day an ex wife of Ten’s former landlord, an ex musician named Zimmy, shows up and gives an enigmatic warning. The next day, she’s found dead. Ten calls Zimmy to find out he’s been harassed by an individual wanting to ‘help’ Zimmy collect past due royalties. Zimmy, however, is not the first and Ten has to make the connection between a hustler, a pig farm, and an enigmatic cult.
What a complex plot. There are all sorts of avenues here and I wanted to figure it out faster. This unfolds pretty well and did keep my interest.
Tenzing ‘Ten’ Norbu: 30, former monk, former Los Angeles detective in Robbery/Homicide, owns a cat, used to live in Paris with his mother, likes Sherlock Holmes novels, drives a 1965 Shelby Mustang and an old Toyota, became a private investigator after the LAPD, mother was an alcoholic, father was a Tibetan monk, avoids red meat
Mike Koenigs: 24, computer guru, likes to come up with new expressions, skinny, black curly hair and a Van Dyke beard, chalky complexion, drives an electric hybrid motorbike, was arrested for hacking as a teen, works as a security consultant
Barbara Maxey: 40s, thick blond hair with a little silver, tanned, divorced, former narcotics user, former cult member, drives a rusty Volkswagon Beetle
Bill Bohannon: Ten’s ex partner, married, has new twins, drives a minivan, has been a cop for almost twenty years, likes the Dodgers, was in the Army
Zimmy Backus: former musician and narcotics user, had been married to Maxey. Lives on an Oregon pear farm with new wife and child, smoking has rasped his voice, owns a dog, used to own Ten’s house
John D. Murphy: 77, western twangy voice, failed almond farmer, former cop, bad knee, two sons, one son died in the military, wife dead
Thomas Florio, Sr.: 70’s, compact, wealthy, wavy hair, has a son and a daughter
Lots of good characters here. Very good descriptions with just enough quirks to keep them from being droll. Distinctive personalities.
Good voices for everyone.
Written in first person from Ten’s POV. Profanity. A few punctuation gaffs. I did enjoy Ten’s reverting back to his monk training regimens, how he stayed focused and relaxed and acclimated technology into his peaceful home. This is also a different take on the cop-turned-PI in that Ten doesn’t jump right into the private eye business and actually has some difficulty getting started. Though he still uses his contacts from the police, he doesn’t rely too heavily on them and does use his zen abilities to fathom out problems. The cat is also a good side character and fits nicely with Ten. The story moves along steadily, not jumping too high or low. I kept wanting to urge the story along, to have a bit more action. This is a very good book for the first in a series. Look for The Second Rule of Ten.