By Cliff Yeargin
Jack Eliam. Atlanta P.I. with an assignment to find a long lost one-hit-wonder band member. He also has to try to persuade a neighbor’s ex boyfriend to cough up a couple grand. But neither cases is that simple.
Standard PI fare. Good stuff. Plenty of PI investigation, use of back up assistance when in trouble, all-around what you’d expect in a PI story.
Jack Eliam: Private investigator, bat maker, former pro baseball player, owns a Ford truck, not tech savvy, owns a dog
Catfish Wilson: owns a BBQ joint, drives a red pickup truck, played football at Georgia University
Dexter Truesdale: reverend, 300 pounds, black, white hair, near 80, owns a .38
Slick: manages Catfish’s restaurant, almost 60, just over 5′
Alex: Eliam’s neighbor, early 30s, owns a photography studio
Dillon Bell: frat brother of Catfish’s, former member of a band, sells used cars, 6′, 240 lbs., mostly bald head, wears reading glasses
Teddy Brown: former band member, works for a radio station, graying black hair, reading glasses
A lot of interesting characters. Some unique personalities with interesting nicknames. Each of them add a little extra flavor to the book, especially a guy named Sweet Thang. Eliam does a bit of side notes every now and then, humorous advice in italics on the current situation.
Tag lines that shouldn’t be tags. Incorrect capitalization on a tag. Otherwise, voice are decent. Some missing punctuation, some normal and some that might have been included just to give the extra flavor of the voices and the language used.
First person from Eliam’s POV. Mild profanity.
Easy going style of writing. Light-hearted, casual, not too deep. Some sentences that are part of one sentence could be made into a separate sentence. It’s noticeable, but, somehow it tends to work in this story. Incorrect words used and misspelled words and missing words here and there.
I enjoyed the climactic scene against the bad guys.
So, the dilemma is the judgment of rank. While the plot was good, action tight, I have to take into account the mistakes not caught by editing. If they had been few, I could overlook, but there was a fair amount. Then I look at the style of writing. I think it’s okay, could use a bit more detail here and there, but I think there was enough to capture the essence.
I can’t give the book a Purple Belt, but I debated between Camo and Green. I didn’t want to go so low even with the mistakes but I think back to the Green ranks I’ve given before.
Therefore, to be fair, I will say I enjoyed the book and I would read another mystery by this author if proper editing was done and there was a bit more detail. But, I have to go with: