Toronto P.I. Dan Sharp discovers a horrific scene in a burned-out building while working on a different case. The police give Sharp a hard time and hold him for questioning, but he’s not an unknown figure in law enforcement and ultimately realize he didn’t have anything to do with the crime. But it’s got Dan buzzing with curiosity and he soon puts the pieces together and discovers that someone is killing known sex offenders whose identities have been illegally released online.
The case comes close to home when a famous rock star contacts Dan and asks for protection because his name is on that list. This takes Dan to a dark underground scene where it will take all his wits to come out alive.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m relatively new to mysteries and this was probably one of the earliest mysteries I had requested when I began writing my book review blog. From the description I was intrigued by the noir feel in a Canada setting.
The first four or five chapters were highly enticing with great energy and intrigue. Dan Sharp’s role as a P.I. was established well, along with the dangers that he faces. Even though this is the second book in a series, we get a good picture of him and his work.
Unfortunately, after the set-up, the actual foray into the story gets slow and tired. What you would expect to be an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrilling mystery – based in large part on the opening scenes of the book – is just not there. I enjoyed the character of Dan Sharp, but what he was doing, who he was investigating, the dangers around him, just were not enticing. His personal story was was of more interest.
What is unique about the character is that Dan Sharp is gay. What I liked about this was the way in which it was presented. It was quite casual (at one point, early on, I wondered, ‘ Did I read that correctly?) – there were no big signs of “This Character Is Gay” – it was mostly a typical P.I, story but the personal parts of his life were dealing a homosexual rather than heterosexual lover. This story was much more interesting than the actual mystery.
Looking for a good book? Pumpkin Eater by Jeffrey Round is the 2nd book in the Dan Sharp Mystery series. The mystery wasn’t particularly interesting, but the character is worth following.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
author: Jeffrey Round
series: Dan Sharp Mystery #2
paperback, 424 pages