Over Their Heads
Review: Clyde McDowd owns an off-site car rental business at Richmond International Airport in Virginia. He also runs a side business from it, one that generates cash that he keeps off the books. When his pregnant wife goes into labor and he has to rush her to the hospital, he tells his sole employee Brent to make sure that a certain customer gets a certain vehicle later that day. Of course, Brent doesn't know about the side business and gives the certain vehicle to another customer, setting off a chain of events in which everyone is Over Their Heads, a stand-alone crime novel by JB Kohl and Eric Beetner.
The certain customer is a gofer named Skeeter, who, when he discovers he's been given the wrong vehicle, decides to drive it into the McDowd Rentals building, completely destroying it. Just to make a point. He threatens Brent with all sorts of bodily harm if he doesn't get the vehicle promised him, but Brent tells him a customer named Sean Griffin and his family have it, and he has no idea where they were headed. When Clyde finds out what's happened, he pleads with Brent to find the Griffins and retrieve that vehicle. But it turns out Sean Griffin has troubles of his own …
Over Their Heads is a most interesting crime novel with some dark comedic elements to it. The narrative alternates between Clyde, Brent, Skeeter, and Sean, with short, crisply written chapters giving their perspective on the rapidly developing (and deteriorating) situation. And just when it seems things couldn't get worse, they take a turn for the worse. An intriguing and well-considered aspect to the story is that what happens to one has a ripple effect on the others, drawing each closer together in working towards a solution but at the same time further away from a successful resolution. That each of them differs on what a successful resolution might be is part of the problem. The story tends to drag a little towards the end — how much worse can it get for these four principal characters? — before being rapidly wrapped up in a slightly too tidy manner. Even so, this is a journey well worth taking.
Acknowledgment: Down & Out Books provided an eARC of Over Their Heads for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
One Too Many Blows To the Head
Second Wind Publishing (Trade Paperback), October 2009
ISBN-13: 9781935171324; ISBN-10: 1935171321
Location(s) referenced in Over Their Heads: Richmond, Virginia
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Over Their Heads by J. B. Kohl and Eric Beetner
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2015
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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