Sunday, November 13, 2011

In a Single Sitting

I have seen entire blogs and websites devoted to books read in a single sitting. Really? People have that much time that they can read all their books in a single sitting? Alas, I don't seem to have that much time. When I do read a book in a single sitting, it stands out as something special. I had heard of the Noah Braddock Private Investigator series, but I was a bit skeptical. A surfing PI seemed like a bit of a stretch. When Liquid Smoke came into the library, the cool cover caught my eye (I shallow!) and I thought I'd give it a go.

Noah is approached by a lawyer looking for help with her client, an inmate on death row in San Quentin. Noah is reluctantly drawn into the case when he hears the prisoner is Russell Simington, his biological father he never met. Simington has a reputation as a remorseless, cold blooded killer who made his career as a gun for hire. The family reunion sets events in motion with unforeseen and tragic consequences.

Why couldn't I put this book down? The menacing prologue opens with Noah walking away from his house, forever leaving the home that he loves. The reader knows something horrible has happened and Noah is devastated. Cut to the first chapter, setting up the action. Every terse chapter advances the story and kept me turning the pages. Watching Noah wrestle with his conflicting emotions was gripping - is he a good person or is he like his father? My favorite heroes always seem to be a mixture of both good and evil, succumbing to their dark side occasionally.

Liquid Smoke is the third book in the series, but it worked well as a stand alone novel. I don't feel that I missed out by not having read the first two. If you are the type of reader that likes to start at the beginning, the series starts with Killer Swell, followed by Wicked Break.


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