Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Until Death

Until DeathUntil Death by James L. Thane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Men are being murdered and Phoenix cop Sean Richardson is on the case. When an escort comes forward saying all the men were listed in her missing appointment book, Sean and his partner Maggie race against time to warn the men. But the escort has someone threatening her as well...

I know it's terribly unfashionable to talk about author behavior but James L. Thane is one of the most personable and least intrustive Goodreads Authors out there. Not only did he not try to push his book on me, I actually had to shame him into sending me a copy to review.

Until Death is James' second novel and the second appearance of Sean Richardson as well. It's been a while since I read No Place to Die but it was easy to step back into Sean Richardson's life. Sean and Maggie are back and running down leads, trying to catch a killer and figure out who's stalking Gina Gallagher.

Until Death is James L. Thane's love letter to the police procedural but manages to steer clear of a lot of genre cliches. I felt like Richardson was a good cop without being some kind of super hero. Richardson is realistically haunted by the untimely death of his wife and prefers to be alone rather than bedding anything with a pulse like a lot of detective characters. Maggie McClinton and Gina Gallagher were both well-written characters, far from the cardboard cutouts found in a lot of tales.

I enjoy being mislead and not being able to pick out the killer in detective fiction and James had me chasing my own tail a bit. I sure didn't guess who the killer was. I did figure out who was stalking Gina but that wasn't as difficult to figure out.

Another thing I like about the Sean Richardson books is the setting. It's really refreshing to read a detective story that doesn't take place in Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles. The desert setting adds a little something extra to the tale.

You remember when one of your friends in college was in a punk band that you were afraid to see live for fear of them sucking? If James Thane were a punk band, he'd be The Clash. 4 out of 5 stars.

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