A Cordell Logan Mystery by David Freed
Review: Cordell Logan's ex-wife's husband has been murdered. Not that Logan cares. Though he still has feelings for her and she's scared, it's probably not enough incentive to get involved. But a $25,000 check, written to him by his ex-father-in-law, is and sets Logan off investigating what the dead man — and, not coincidentally, his old partner — had been up to in Flat Spin, the first mystery in this series by David Freed.
Logan and Arlo Echivarria had worked together in the most covert of covert organizations within the US government. And were best friends too, until Arlo stole away his wife. At least that's how Logan sees it. They were good — no, very good — at their jobs and while it's entirely possible that someone from their past may have caught up with Arlo, Logan thinks that unlikely. More likely is someone from the present. Arlo's first wife and son are candidates — both hated him — but Logan keeps coming back to that check his ex-father-in-law wrote. What was so important to him that he was willing to part with 25 large — pocket change to the guy, but still — to have Logan investigate? The key seems to be Kazakhstan, the new DisneyWorld of destinations for the old man's circle of friends and business associates, a place Logan is not unfamiliar with as well …
Flat Spin is a superior whodunit-style mystery, written in such an effortless manner that it is difficult to believe this is the author's first crime novel. The characters are all well-drawn, tweaked in all the right ways to be ever so slightly larger than life. The plot is credibly developed, with Logan methodically working through the list of people in Arlo's life to determine who might have had the means and motive to kill him, crossing them off one by one yet never really eliminating them as suspects. But it is Cordell Logan himself and the perfectly paced narrative itself that make this mystery such a pleasure to read. Logan is a pilot, spending quite a bit of time criss-crossing California in his small plane, but is firmly grounded in reality and never subject to flights of fancy. He's a Buddhist, but uses his beliefs more as a flexible guideline to living than as a way of life. And the fact that whodunit remains an unknown element for so long for the reader is merely an unexpected and most welcome bonus. Flat Spin will almost certainly be remembered as one of the best mysteries of the year; don't miss it.
Acknowledgment: The Permanent Press provided an ARC of Flat Spin for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Permanent Press (Hardcover), April 2013
ISBN-13: 9781579623333; ISBN-10: 1579623336
Location(s) referenced in Flat Spin: California
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Flat Spin by David Freed — A Cordell Logan Mystery
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Publication Date: May 2012
List Price: $29.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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