Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Double Take, by Joe Hilley (River Oak)

(Click cover for more information)

It’s round two for our hero Mike Connolly, and it’s a doozy. Mike’s challenges in Double Take, the second in Mr. Hilley’s “Mike Connolly Mystery” series, make his first case (see Sober Justice) seem fairly tame.

It’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s try here:

Mike Connolly is retained by a certain Harvey Bosarge, who is an apparent suspect in a overkill bombing that vaporized a member of a prominent local family. I say “apparent.” You could attach that descriptor to just about everybody in this crime novel, as almost nobody is who they seem to be—especially Mr. Bosarge. Caught up in an investigation that involves a half-dozen federal agencies, various local law enforcement agencies, as well as private security personnel, Mike weaves his way through a maze of intrigue and deceit that seems to have no end.

Navigating the now familiar landmarks of Mobile Bay and it surroundings, we travel into the oozing black mud of the Alabama bayou, seedy back streets hosting a variety of activities few people of scruples would choose to discuss, and even on to the French Quarter of New Orleans in all its scandalous glory. All this to track an odd-bedfellow collection of characters caught up in political corruption, drug smuggling and the sex trade. Oh, the fun just goes on!

Mike brings his own foibles to the table, much as we saw in Sober Justice. Mr. Hilley shows us a very real Mike Connolly—now sober and saved—who struggles with the demons of his past life. He takes two steps forward and slips back one—much like many of us who have emerged from a dark, pre-Christian past and have baggage to unload that, at times, seems to stick to our hands. We all understand Mike, we all sympathize with Mike, and many of us empathize with Mike.

If you like a grass-roots tale of crime and consequences—physical, moral and spiritual—Double Take is a sure bet.

Ready for round three!


Anonymous said...

Ooo! Sounds very interesting, and I just started Sober Justice. :)

Bruce Judisch said...

Cool, Jennifer! Double Take is a great follow-on. More intricate than Sober Justice (put on your tracking outfit), but I enjoyed both books.

Have fun!

Cheers! Bruce