Ahhhh…. a good old crime novel, a thriller actually, where I don’t have to think a lot. I don’t usually try to figure out “who done it,” I just go with the flow, ideas drifting through my head. What Freed has given us is a who-done-it with a bloody plot line wrapped up in a fair bit of humor.
I bought it on sale in order to have something going at times like this – I’m kind of drained from Lord Jim and want something lighter. It worked. And Audible’s little ploy of putting “1st in a series” books on sale worked, too, fwiw.
David Freed is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the reporting he did on the Los Angeles criminal justice system and he’s written much more. He also wrote about Operation Desert Storm and is a licensed pilot. The man knows what he writes about – he writes about it in this book.
by David Freed
2012 / 300 pages
read by Ray Porter – 9h 7m
rating: A- / crime thriller
Cordell Logan, our 1st person protagonist, is a self-employed flight instructor working out of LA now that his job as a secret and covert anti-terrorist agent for a private undercover (contract?) organization,
The title refers to what he thinks of his life as a whole – it’s in a “flat spin.”
Savannah, Cordell’s ex-wife has come to him to ask him to investigate the murder of her new husband who was also Cordell’s boss and friend before Cordell found out about the affair and dumped them both. Now the grieving Savannah seems to want Cordell back in her life.
The police apparently want to blame either Savannah or Cordell or someone close – as usual. It gets complicated in Cordell’s head, but he’s a smart, wise-cracking kind of guy who uses some Buddhist (yup) ideas along with the humor to stay focused and sane. How much can he tell the police what he knows about his ex-boss, or should he just investigate on his own?
There are Russians involved but that’s okay because other clues lead also to family members and neighbors and whomever else might want Echeveria dead. Very interesting plot line without getting too complicated. And then there’s another death which is also related to the old terrorist-hunting organization. In some ways it’s a typical crime/spy/who-done-it/ thriller, but in other ways it’s a notch above.
This is the first of a series and the over-arching plot of the relationship between Savannah and Cordell is pretty interesting as Cordell really tries to stave off her advances and come to grips with the situation in his head. I suppose each crime story will be different. We’ll see – Book 2, Fangs Out, is in my wish list.
Roy Porter does an excellent job on the reading.