Bloody Mary – J A Konrath


The second in the Jack Daniels series, this is a bloody, tense, crime book that rarely lets up. It’s another hunt for a serial killer, but one which comes with a genuine mid book twist that turns things completely around. (I am not going to offer any details that might spoil the plot.) The pace builds up again to the inevitable final scene showdown.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read, with a good main character, and some real signs of life from the supporting cast. The cat is something new in my reading experience, but that may be because I am not so fond of the damn things. Jack’s partner Herb is a good foil, and the dialog between the partners is one of the strongest parts of the book. The humor sometimes falls flat, but that is often a hit or miss affair, and there were far more occasions when it was laugh out loud funny.

I would like to get a bit more of the city backdrop, though I can well see the author’s clinical devotion to avoiding anything that would unnecessarily slow down the plot or reduce the tension.

I think I’ll keep reading this series.

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Whiskey Sour – J A Konrath

This is a police procedural novel built on a strong female character with the unfortunately alpha male name of Jack Daniels. Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is a Chicago detective with more than her fair share of personal challenges, never mind the serial killer the Gingerbread Man who is taunting her and the forces of law and order.

The writing style is a cross between Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct realistic fatalism, and Carl Hiaasen’s comical commentary. Sometimes the humor works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But I have a bigger problem with the serial killer character. I was not convinced about the completeness or authenticity of that person in the book. Fortunately, the Jack Daniels character is just about sufficient quality to carry the rest of the book on her shoulders, and there were moments of genuine tension and excitement. Indeed, this is a pretty good page turner, meaning I will be trying out more in the series.

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