Pelham Fell Here
A Frank Johnson Mystery by Ed Lynskey
Review: Ed Lynskey relates the circumstances surrounding the death of Frank Johnson's cousin, Cody Chapman, in Pelham Fell Here, the third book in the series but written as a prequel to the first.
Cody owns a gun shop in western Virginia with Frank, when he's not doing odd jobs to pick up living expenses, sometimes agreeing to do some gunsmithing on some of the inventory as needed. They had a more formal business arrangement once but it didn't work out; instead they agreed for the sake of familial harmony that it's better they weren't partners. When Cody is shot dead in the shop, the police find an obvious suspect in Frank. But Frank has other plans; if the police won't find his cousin's killer, he will. But he must also at the same time stay one step ahead of the law who are hot on his trail. The case gets more complicated when a group of neo-Nazis enter the picture. Is it possible that his cousin Cody had something to do with them? Maybe Cody wasn't the hero figure Frank always took him for.
It isn't often when a prequel written later, in this case as the third book, in the series works. Anyone who has read any of the earlier books already is familiar with the principal character and knows something about their relationships to others in their sphere. But in many ways, Pelham Fell Here is the best of this series to date. Frank Johnson is a deeply complex man and as the storyline here takes place before he becomes a private investigator, there's something personal about his quest even beyond the fact that a family member has been murdered. He's looking for something about himself, what makes him who he is. It's a relatively simple plot but with complicated issues. The action moves forward at a rapid pace leaving little time for readers to catch their breath, as it were. In all, it's exceptionally well done.
It isn't necessary to read either of the two books in this series to appreciate Pelham Fell Here, but doing so may help in recognizing how good this book really is.
Acknowledgment: Mundania Press provided an ARC of Pelham Fell Here for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Blue Cheer
Point Blank Press (Trade Paperback), February 2007
ISBN-13: 9780809556670; ISBN-10: 0809556677
Wildside Press (Trade Paperback), June 2011
ISBN-13: 9781434430465; ISBN-10: 1434430464
Location(s) referenced in Pelham Fell Here: Virginia
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Pelham Fell Here by Ed Lynskey — A Frank Johnson Mystery
Publisher: Mundania Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: August 2008
List Price: $13.95