Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Racing the Devil: A Jared McKean Mystery - by Jaden Terrell
OK, so it's not a Horror novel, kill me...no wait, I take that back. Sue me instead. At least that way if someone takes me literally, I have nothing to lose.
I picked this up a few months back as a free read from LibraryThing.com. It's a Mystery novel, not that there's anything wrong with that. I just prefer Horror and well it does mention the Devil, in the title.
At 246 pages, it was a pretty quick read and an excellent one, at that. Racing the Devil introduces the reader to Jared McKean, a Nashville PI and former homicide detective.
At first I was getting a Raymond Chandler vibe from the words on the page, stuff like, "There were a thousand reasons why a woman might come into a bar with bruises on her cheeks and tears in her eyes. Not all of them involved some jerk with a sour temper and heavy fists." and later when Jared and the lady find a motel, "Nothing classy about it, but that was just as well. Class would have been wasted on us."
But that film noir feel ended as soon as our hero discovered he's been framed for murder. By the way, that should be "Framed" with a capital 'F". He was Framed so hard, he might have believed himself guilty, if he didn't know better.
Just a quick aside, having grown up in The Church of the Nazarene, I got a big kick out of Jared's comment, "Dancing is a sexually stimulating activity. At least that's what they told us Nazarenes." As a matter of fact, I think that's a direct quote from the church's manual when I was a teenager in the 60's.
The author, Jaden Terrell, does a really nice job with his characters. They all are embued with a touch of authenticity. I was particularly fond Jared's relationship with his, soon to be, 8 year old son, Paulie, who has Downs Syndrome.
Racing the Devil, is a murder mystery where we are pretty sure who didn't do it, even though the police are nearly certain he did and Jared McKean needs to solve the case to save his ass.
I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys the occasional murder mystery. Racing the Devl is available in a wide variety of formats from The Permanent Press and look for the next Jared McKean Mystery A Cup Full of Midnight coming in September.