If you like hard-boiled detective fiction…. If you like the Spenser books of Robert B. Parker…. If you like good mysteries…. If you like good, solid storytelling…. Then you really should read David Housewright’s Like To Die.
Rushmore “Mac” McKenzie is a former St. Paul police detective who retired early after collecting the reward money for solving a a case while still on the force. Now he works as a PI and helps out his friends from time to time. It is helping out friends that brings him to his next case when a poker buddy asks Mac to help a friend.
Erin Peterson is the owner of Salsa Girl Salsa, made locally and rising in popularity. But someone doesn’t seem too happy with her success. The sabotage has been simple but effective … locks around the building and on the delivery trucks have been filled with superglue. It doesn’t seem like much, but even a single day late on deliveries could mean significant losses in income for a small business trying to go big. Is it a rival business trying to keep Salsa Girl Salsa small? Is it a jealous lover? A left-in-the-cold partner? McKenzie, who takes a liking to Erin Peterson, takes on the case, but what he finds is bigger than anyone expected and Mac is going to call in a lot of favors just to stay alive.
I found this to be a really great hard-boiled detective story. McKenzie comes across as the classic tough-guy PI in this book. He gets beat up pretty hard and almost seems to enjoy it. But we have brutish thugs, car chases, explosions, and snipers in the middle of a well-plotted who-dunnit mystery. I was reminded of the Spenser novels of Robert B. Parker – tough, intelligent, with connections on the police force, connections outside the law, and a beautiful girlfriend with an unbelievable amount of trust.
This is one of the better, more exciting mysteries I’ve read in awhile now, but I did have one small issue with the a plot point. As wise as McKenzie is, he has just a little too much trust in his client. He admits he doesn’t know anything about her, and we are reminded by another character in the book that he doesn’t know anything about her, yet he continues to work blindly for her. Even the first time it came up it raised a red flag for me, and a very clear warning when it was brought up another time.
Still, this has made me want to read all the Rushmore McKenzie novel I can get my hands on now.
Looking for a good book? If you like hard-boiled detective fiction, with tough protagonists and bad-as-can-be villains, then you really should read Like to Die by David Housewright. It’s wonderful.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Like to Die
author: David Housewright
series: Mac McKenzie #15
publisher: Minotaur Books
hardcover, 310 pages