This is the debut novel of Sean Chercover. His detective is Ray Dudgeon, a former newspaperman turned private detective. He is hired by Bob Lonisiki, a manager of hollywood films, to protect him from a mobster named Johnny Greico.
Dudgeon is also a character with flaws. He’s disillusioned with the newspaper business and he wants to be together with his girlfriend, Jill. That is also a problem since she doesn’t want to be involved with Ray because of his work.
The story moves along nicely as Dudgeon will be battling out with the mobster along with some of his cronies. At the very least, the action and suspense are high and the results are unpredictable, which makes the story even better to read, especially since I didn’t know what Ray was going to do next.
The subplot of his relationship with Jill builds the story up even more. I guess I found myself rooting for Ray to make the relationship work.
There are a lot of PI novels out there but I thought that what made this different is that the author is a real-life PI also which made the story work even better. The point of writing what you know really comes out in this story.
I would also say that this is the kind of story that I would read in some of my favorite pulp fiction writers where they are battling it out with mobsters and their hit men. Some of those authors include Mickey Spillane, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Mike Shayne, and of course, Mike Roscoe, who wrote five books about his detective, Johnny April.
If you’re a fan of the pulp fiction era or would like to know what it’s like to read a book that in many ways relate to that era, then I would recommend this book. At .99, it’s worth more than five stars.
I look forward to reading more books by Sean Chercover.