In July, a Nevada’s senior IRS agent Soranden vanished without a trace. In September, his skull is dropped through the slashed top of a Mustang convertible. The vehicle belongs to Lucy Landry, PI Mortimer Angel’s young assistant now working with him on a seemingly unrelated embezzlement case. When the FBI are brought in to investigate the murder, Mort and Lucy realize shocking details about their own case―primarily Soranden’s involvement.
Rob Leininger’s attention to philosophical detail mirrors my own: Bad often begets good. Witty humor softens grisly crime scene descriptions, making Mort my go-to gumshoe. Gumshoe Rock rocks! It has earned a spot on my Bookreporter Top Picks Dean’s List.
... a gritty one-two punch of a PI mystery ... Fast moving, wisecracking, and deadly, each chapter features tight beats that build suspense. The landscape is incorporated into scenes with humor and wonderful physicality. Several slapstick moments are laugh-out-loud funny, especially when delivered in Mort’s deadpan voice ... For all its grisly crime scenes, the novel is also funny, and its humor sets it apart, making its extreme violence more tolerable. Its sex scenes happen off-stage, and while Mort’s relationship with Lucy is charged, its depiction leans on mutual playfulness instead of straightforward romance ... a knock-your-socks-off mystery with a healthy dose of graveyard humor.
... intriguing ... wishes to be a hard-boiled knockout while commenting on the form, even mocking it ... The two cases merge, or try to, amid the author’s postmodern digs. He imagines Spade and Marlowe mocking him, exults in zingy accolades for his one-liners, and manages, amid all the wordplay, to survive a kerosene-soaked finale that is, incidentally, a stunning bit of bravura writing.