***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***
Moments before he is executed, the killer of famed Vietnam War hero-pilot Hub Walker’s daughter makes a startling allegation: the real murderer is Walker’s close friend, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days hunting up information that will refute the convicted killer’s groundless but widely reported claims, and help restore his friends good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist and retired military assassin Cordell Logan. Thus begins one of the years most suspenseful mystery-thrillers.
A Medal of Honor recipient married to a former Playmate of the Year, Walker resides in the swanky San Diego enclave of La Jolla, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Logan is convinced that working for Walker will be little more than a paid vacation – a chance to rub shoulders with a living legend while rekindling Logan’s relationship with his own enticing ex-wife, Savannah. But after flying to San Diego in his beloved aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, Logan is quickly drawn into a vexing and deadly jigsaw puzzle. The deeper he digs, the murkier the truth appears, and the more in danger he finds himself. Who really killed the war hero’s daughter, and why? Somebody in “America’s Finest City,” wants to stop Logan from asking questions, and will stop at nothing to silence him.
I loved this 27 chapter book. It was told through Cordell’s first person point of view. My favorite lines: 1) “Live long enough, you learn to pick your battles. 2) No one ever said being a smartass was without its drawbacks.” 3) “I’ve never turned down a free meal in my life. I wasn’t about to start now, not with the sad state of my bank account.” 4) “He would take his last breath one minute after midnight, on May 28–Amnesty International Day, it said on the wall calendar they’d allow him to keep in his cell. The irony of it, dying by the government’s hand on a day honoring human rights.” 5) “My plane was in pieces, my ex-wife wasn’t talking to me, my cat was AWOL, and somebody wanted me dead. But there’s never any excuses for bad manners.”
The opening scene was pretty intense. It showed Dorian’s experience of his last day. He was a man on death row, eating his final meal and having his last words. He had been accused of butchering his ex-girlfriend. It pulled at my heart strings once he still claimed innocence. Either readers will feel bad because they’re against the death penalty or they’ll feel bad for the victim Ruth. Either way, I guarantee readers will have a strong emotion at the very beginning.
The author had a fantastic talent with plot. He had the right amount of pacing to keep my interest. Every scene had a purpose to move the mystery along. It was fun trying to solve the mystery. I liked gathering clues and being skeptical of everyone Cordell met. When he helped Hub Walker and his wife land their small aircraft safely, Hub asked him to do a private investigation. He wanted to clear Greg Castle’s name. Dorian had blamed him for Ruth’s death; Ruth was Hub’s daughter.
I loved all the suspense moments. Cordell’s life was in danger because someone didn’t appreciate him snooping. They wanted their secret safe. I’m afraid of flying, so my heart pounded when his plane crashed on the ground. I was right when I suspected someone had messed with it. He encountered a bunch of shady people, which made the story interesting. I had three suspects, and I”m proud to say I was partly right.
I RECOMMEND this book to read.