The only disappointing part of reading this book is finishing it, because now I’ve read the series and there are no others (currently).
Former FBI agent and modern PI, Dakota Stevens brings his partner, the beautiful and brilliant Svetlana Krüsh, into a case that starts as a ‘simple’ art scam and becomes a problem of international proportions that challenge homeland security! Along the way, Dakota will fall desperately and madly in love with a beautiful young artist who previously worked painting forgeries. While Dakota uncovers and works to solve a decades-old series of crimes and avoids the threats to his own life, can he keep his beautiful partner and his new love safe?
This is the first book in the Dakota Stevens trilogy of mystery novels. Because I read them in reverse order (a long story not worth writing about here) I knew how at least one aspect of the story would turn out, but it did not diminish my enjoyment of the book in the slightest.
Dakota Stevens is a smart, tough, but very human detective. Too many detective stories that I’ve read have the protagonist almost superhuman in either their detective (smarts) work or in their ability to take a beating (or a shooting) and keep plowing forward to fight the villain. Stevens feels like a regular guy who stumbles, is supported by his associated, and pushes himself realistically, even during the toughest moments.
The story here is truly engrossing. It helps, for me anyway, that I’ve been completely fascinated (in a horrified way) by the crime of art theft, and Orcutt delivers a story about just that and drops it, like a mad, wet cat, on my lap.
Dakota Stevens is that sort of character that you want to be friends with because he’s the sort of character that you would never just go in a bar and have a drink – you would go in a bar, have a drink, and an experience. But of course Stevens is an imaginary character so you can only do the next best thing … read his stories.
Looking for a good book? A Real Piece of Work is the first book in the Dakota Stevens Mystery series by Chris Orcutt and most definitely worth reading!
I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
A Real Piece of Work
author: Chris Orcutt
series: Dakota Stevens Mystery #1
publisher: Have Pen, Will Travel
paperback, 338 pages