Monday, July 20, 2015

Finding Jack Lynch is worth playing Truth Or Die.

You don't have to wander the bookshelves or spend hours with Google to find forgotten but great crime writers anymore. Brash Books, a new independent publisher, is doing it for you. One fine example is Jack Lynch.

Truth or Die, the sixth in an eight book series, features California Private Eye Peter Bragg. He's visiting Monterey with his girlfriend when he runs into an old acquaintance, Jo Sommers. Jo's married now, but she can still turn heads, and Bragg's head is ready to spin. So when he learns she's in trouble, he can't resist the temptation to look into it, for old times sake.

Big mistake. Jo's husband has been murdered, and she's the prime suspect.  Instead of running back to Allison, Bragg decides to interview the less than grieving widow. Dr. Sommers was a psychiatrist and many of his patients were ex-navy officers. While the doctor helped them deal with the horrors of war, someone decided to use their secrets for blackmail. That may have gotten Dr. Sommers killed. And Bragg may be next, if he gets too close to the blackmailer.

He has to be wondering what Jo is up she part of the blackmail scheme or an innocent patsy? Was her husband blackmailing his own patients? Is the wife really a black widow? This story will keep you turning the pages to find out and has enough action to keep you entertained along the way.

Lynch has a clean, straightforward prose style that was made popular by Ernest Hemingway, and copied by countless writers. But Lynch is no imitator. He learned to write while working for numerous newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle (Hemingway cut his teeth at the Kansas City Star). They must feed those newspapers reporters something potent, because most of them can write a tight sentence that packs a punch. Lynch was nominated for the Edgar and twice for the Shamus award.

 This is the first of the Bragg novels I've read, but it won't be the last. There's seven more on my list. They should be on yours.

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