Foreword Review — July / Aug 2011
Eoin Colfer makes his crime fiction debut with a bang. Daniel McEvoy, formerly in the Irish army’s peacekeeping corps in Lebanon, possibly still shell-shocked, and definitely obsessed with his new hair plugs, works as head of security at the seedy Slotz casino in sleepy Cloisters, New Jersey, just a short train ride out of Manhattan. Just as he was hoping to spend another weekend away with cocktail waitress Connie, he becomes the primary murder suspect when she’s found dead behind the casino.
Daniel is certain that lawyer Jaryd Faber, who he had to throw out of Slotz the night before for inappropriate contact with Connie, is responsible for his would-be girlfriend’s killing. As if hunting down Connie’s murderer isn’t enough, the Slotz doorman also stumbles into the office of Dr. Zeb Kronski to find a hit man ready to strike and the surgeon (practicing quasi-medicine without a license) missing in action. Taking both investigations into his own hands and thinking like a soldier again, Daniel must dodge Cloisters’s lone crime boss, a detective who can’t decide whether to shoot or kiss him, and the crazy lady who lives above him.
Irish author Colfer is best known for his children’s series, Artemis Fowl, which centers on a teenage mastermind and his confrontations with the fairy world. He’s written numerous other books for children and teens, including the steampunk Airman, the realistic Benny and Omar, and a science fiction adventure, The Supernaturalist. For adult readers, the author has penned the sixth installment in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, And Another Thing … .
With swift pacing and plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very end, Colfer’s crime caper has all the makings of a classic thriller. Daniel tries to hide his insecurities and chivalrous weak spot behind his wry, self-deprecating humor, and his witty voice deftly blends comedy with the noir storytelling. A clever ending leaves room for a sequel and fans clamoring for yet more of this sensitive Irish rogue.