Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ray's Reviews: Loren Estleman's Don't Look for Me

Tough guy private eye Amos Walker is back in "Don't Look For Me" (Forge, $26.99), the latest highly entertaining crime novel by Whitmore Lake author Loren Estleman.

The 23rd book in his popular series is set in urban and suburban Detroit; there are many great scenes filled with exceptionally accurate and dark descriptions. There's considerable violence, the dialogue flows smoothly and Walker is as sardonic as ever.

This time he's hired by Alec Wynn, a wealthy investment banker whose wife Cecilia has gone missing. She left behind a lot of expensive clothing, a drawer full of herbal remedies and a cryptic, undated note that simply states "Don't Look for Me."

It's not the first time she's done it, but Wynn doesn't want to call in the cops. He doesn't like dealing with big detective agencies -- he'd rather just have an experienced private eye find her.

Walker goes out and tracks down leads, checking with a frustrated former lover and Cecilia's ex-maid, who's gotten a considerably different job in the local porn movie industry.

His quest takes him to an herbal remedies store, where Smoke Wygonik, the pretty sales clerk, offers useful and interesting insights. Soon she pays Walker a visit, after her boss's body is discovered in the shop's basement along with other illegal items.

The case gets a bit more complicated as Walker digs deeper. Soon he realizes that his car is being tailed and confronts his followers with surprising results.

Longtime Estleman followers will recognize familiar characters, including Detroit Police Inspector John Alderdyce and former newspaper reporter Barry Stackpole.

This is the third and final book in Walker's Charlotte Sing series, which included his excellent crime novels "American Detective" and "Infernal Angels".

If you enjoy dark, hard-boiled crime novels, you're in for a real treat; this is another addictive, taut performance by a top-notch writer.

However, it should come with a spoiler alert: dedicated fans should avoid reading the blurb on the inside dust jacket flap. It gives away far too much of the twisted plot.

Estleman, who's written over 70 novels, last year won the Eye Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Private Eye Writers of America. His next book, "Ragtime Cowboys", is scheduled for release in May.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, 
owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, 
has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on March 23, 2014.

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