Private Investigator Sean NMI Sean returns for a case that is very close to home in this second book of the series begun with the very good “The Case of the Greedy Lawyers.” He lives in the normally quiet and unassuming suburb Roseville located in a northern side of the twin cities in Minnesota. As he arrives home one day it is clear by the flashing police lights, the numerous spectators and the remnants of a wheel chair that something has happened. With four retirement homes within a five block area of his neighborhood the P.I. with no middle name is used to seeing elderly in wheel chairs on the side walks.

What he isn’t used to seeing are the aftereffects of a bombing which virtually destroyed a wheelchair. This wheelchair clearly was and the explosion turned the wheel chair into chunks of burned shrapnel and killed its occupant. With no identification on the body it takes a little time to ascertain who died. It also takes some time to identify the occupants of a sliver Audi who seem to be staking out the neighborhood and Sean’s home in particular.

Even with the victim identified Sean has a minimal interest in the case at first and that interest is pretty much is geared towards the fact that it happened virtually right outside his home. Then, when people connected to the deceased hire him to find out who did it, Sean begins a hunt for information. Information that the local police are more than happy to let him dig for and cooperate with him nearly every step of the way. Why not let him as he is doing all their work and risking his life and his girlfriend’s life as he pushes a killer into the open.

Unlike the first novel in the series which was constantly funny, this novel while still in the cozy style, is much darker in tone. Sean does toss off the occasionally irrelevant one liner, but for the most part, this is a more serious character working through issues in his life, the case and the nature of our ultimate fate. That could be because the subject matter is heavily grounded in nursing homes, the patients, and the staff of them or it could be that Carl Brookins has been told to be more serious in the series.

I’m hoping it was the former and not the later by some well meaning party. While still a good novel featuring an interesting tale populated by realistic characters, this isn’t the type of novel I expect where Sean is present. Gone and very much missed is the irrelevant wise crack man in his red keds. Well, the red keds are still there but this isn’t the same character that entertained me so well the first time around.

The fact that this book is so different makes it hard to objectively evaluate this novel. I found as the pages wore on that I was missing the original funny Sean version more and more. There were moments that screamed out for a one liner from him and yet he was either silent or serious.

Taken on its own, the book currently scheduled to be released august 20th is a good book. It just doesn’t meet my personal expectations which were based on the first book because it is missing a huge component. The humor for the most part simply isn’t here and that is a major disappointment. As such, while it is a good book overall when compared to the first one in the series, there is no comparison.

The Case of the Deceiving Don

Carl Brookins

http://www.carlbrookins.com

Five Star Publishing

http://gale.cengage.com/fivestar

August 2008

ISBN# 978-1-59414-677-0

Hardback

266 Pages

ARC

Review copy provided directly by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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