Thursday, February 9, 2012

Noteworthy Reads: RACING THE DEVIL by Jaden Terrell

RACING THE DEVIL is one of the best detective mysteries I've read in a long time. Making it even better is knowing that it is the debut novel in a new series and that the next title, A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT, is due out in only a few months.
            The protagonist here is Nashville PI Jared McKean, a refreshing and engaging hero that readers (certainly including me) will want to see more and more of. He is tough, complex, and instantly likable. He is an ex cop, knows some tae-kwon do, plays the guitar, and is a horseman of considerable expertise. Along with Mac himself you also get a colorful cast of recurring characters, each distinct and interesting in his or her own way and each adding layers to McKean through his relationships with them. All of this is injected in via Terrell's skilled writing style without ever seeming heavy-handed or slowing the pace of the central plot. We're used to being introduced to series characters with affectations and histories (sometimes some pretty outrageous ones) designed to set them apart from the pact—unfortunately, too often these are transparently obvious plot devices that ring phony because they have no real heart. Not so here. Everything in McKean's extended family and history matters and makes the reader care.
            The central storyline is a doozy, too. It starts out with Mac picking up the proverbial one night stand in a local bar and then waking up from a drugged stupor in a sleazy motel room two mornings later, only to discover he's been framed for a murder that occurred while he was zonked out … And, like I said, that's only for starters. From there the plot takes all kinds of delightfully sneaky twists and turns as Mac races to find the real killer in a desperate attempt to clear himself.
            Top notch stuff all the way around. Exceptionally good writing, terrific new protagonist, colorful setting.
Anyone reading this who hasn't yet read the book ought to do some racing of their own—to hurry up and purchase a copy of RACING THE DEVIL!

 Be sure to check this out.
You won't be sorry you did.

Persevere --- WD

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