I’m quite certain I read one or more Fletch books, probably in the mid-1980’s when the Chevy Chase films were coming out and I was managing a book store, but I don’t remember much about the books, so I was quite interested in looking at this, Confess, Fletch, being reissued to coincide with the new film.
I. M. “Fletch” Fletcher is back in the United States (from Italy), Boston specifically, and staying in an upscale townhouse that he’s renting. The rental comes complete with all the usual amenities plus a few frills – including the naked, dead body of a young woman in the living room.
Inspector Flynn, investigating the murder, has Fletch as his prime suspect and he makes no bones about it, constantly encouraging Fletch to make it easy on all of them and just confess. Fletch is exactly uncooperative, but he’s steady and steadfast in maintaining his innocence. Flynn is equally resolute in believing Fletch is guilty, but he feels there just enough lack of evidence to make the arrest.
While Fletch works to prove his innocence (by finding the actual killer) he’s also hard at work trying to track down some stolen artwork and using some less-than-legal means to do so. Having a police tail complicates things, but Fletch is always cool under pressure.
This feels like a nice cross between the classic pulp detective novels (and I mean that in the best of ways) and the more ‘modern’ mystery fiction. Of course Fletch is not an actual detective, and the true detective here is the foil (however, a trustworthy one), and our protagonist operates on the border of the law.
This is most definitely a character-driven book (the entire series features Fletch’s name in the title) and we have here a very interesting character in Fletch. As a journalist, he’s got some investigating chops, and as a former Marine he can handle himself in some tricky situations. He’s calm and cool and often quite aloof which is a big part of his charm. It’s hard to imagine Chevy Chase playing him (back in the 1980’s) but I’m really curious to see the film version of this particular book with Jon Hamm in the title role.
It’s really nice to have new films if for no other reason that to see book reissues of a series that deserves to find new readership.
Looking for a good book? Confess, Fletch, by Gregory McDonald, might best be described as a ‘modern pulp’ mystery and is worthy of your reading time.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Gregory McDonald
series: Fletch #2
publisher: Blackstone Publishing
paperback, 264 pages