I received an advanced copy of this soon-to-be-released novel by Down & Out Books.
One thing I can say about this novel, the beginning should definitely come with a Cast of Characters listing. Oh my, there were so many names and characters to keep up with, it got rather confusing for me, at first. Please note, I said at first. Once I got the hang of the author’s flow, the story began to come alive and what a story indeed.
I’m new to reading this author, and I am always excited to try a new author out because how else will you know who is your favorite and who isn’t? J.L. Abramo definitely has a way of telling a story. His style is very clever—sort of reminds me of a cross between Sidney Sheldon and Walter Mosley, wherein he takes several small stories that at first glance appear to be going nowhere, all the while keeping his reader engaged, until those stories weave like a carefully quilted blanket. The reader is then left with their ‘A-Ha’ moment and climatic victory of figuring out what is happening. I believe this novel is the third or fourth in the Jake Diamond series and I have to say, Jake is a pretty cool, well-put-together, down-to-earth kind of guy. His character reminds me a great deal of the old Private Eyes of yesteryear with the zest and appeal of today’s world.
One thing is for sure, Jake doesn’t take any shit and although he comes off as being your average nice guy, don’t let his good looks and his humor fool you, as some of the characters found out in this story. I’m not completely sure about the background of how Jake came to be, but I believe he either tried to be on the police force or wanted to be, and for one reason or another, he never made it. He once aspired to be an actor, which those skills came in handy for the work he currently does. Suffice it to say, he started his own private investigations business with a pretty, smart eleck sidekick, Darlene Roman, who helps keep his sinking business afloat—from bookkeeping to being a sarcastic speaking receptionist. Just as Jake was figuring he’d run out of money soon, a very important person ends up dead in his apartment. So, you think the story ends there, right? You couldn’t be more wrong! This is where those little stories begin to truly take shape!
For starters, evidence is being tampered with by a lieutenant who receives much respect from her squad—only for those to go looking at her sideways. Information is being handed out like a parent giving his trick or treaters Halloween candy. Question is, who is shelving out that information and why? Good cops are appearing to have a bit of the devil lurking within them, and more dead bodies continually keep turning up. Soon as Jake thinks he can safely move about to handle his personal affairs, he’s being summoned by close friends to help them with their problems.
Let’s not leave out the fact that he’d rather not get involved with any of this murder business, especially since it’s not paying his rent literally. But personal friends have called in favors and it’s up to Jake to at least make good on past promises. After all, when he’s in a pinch, they come to his aid. While dead bodies keep surfacing, a very good friend of his ends up looking like someone tried to put him in a meat grinder after having been beat half to death. Jake takes it personal and is in desperate need to search for those who have done this to his good friend. However, before he embarks on his search, Jake has a pretty good idea who was behind his friend's beat down. And knowing this, he sought out someone who could help him handle business. While he puts out tiny fires, there are other arsonists abound trying to light new and bigger flames to keep this cast of characters going around in circles. Abramo’s chapters are short, sweet and definitely to the point. The reader is given a panoramic view into the lives of each of these interesting and unforgettable characters.
If you’re looking for a private eye who can stand the test of time with a little charm and humor mixed in, this novel is for you! If you’re a fan of the Law & Order series and are familiar with how it comes on and continues to build until you get to the crux of the matter, then welcome to Circling the Runway! Awesome read! Get ready to take reading to a whole other level! Abramo delivers plenty of action. Mello & June gives this novel five stars. Well done! Coming to a bookstore and/or download near you around the end of April 2015. Be on the lookout!
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer
Calling on All Private Eyes. . .
to READ Circling the Runway