Fangs out and ready for a dogfight, Cordell Logan switches from flight instructor and occasional quiet investigator to bulldog, wildcat, or eagle, determined to catch his prey. David Freed’s second Cordell Logan mystery brings back all the favorite characters so naturally even forgetful readers like me won't need to pause to remember their names. Savannah the ex-wife, Kiddiot the amazing cat, and the wonderful Mrs. Schmulowitz spread their influence over the story, even when off-stage, while Cordell’s determination to bring down bad guys can only grow stronger the moment his beloved plane is threatened. Okay, maybe someone’s threatening him too, but this is the Ruptured Duck, likewise a vital character in the tale.
Cordell Logan has a convincingly told past where he’s worked and killed for his country. The reader quickly believes he's no stranger to danger. But he also has a present in which he struggles to pay bills, does the right thing even when the reasons are wrong, tries so hard to be a good Buddhist, and balances everything with wise-cracking humor, and cynical wisdom. The detective work’s convincing. The police procedures ring true. The violence has just the right mix of quiet desperation, furious action and desperate flight. And the flight scenes are filled with poetry and practicality, born of the author’s obvious love for planes and language.
A rich man’s daughter died years ago but the murderer’s final words implicate someone else. The grieving father wants closure while the honorable flight instructor needs cash. And then the plot thickens. Seedy life-styles off the grid mesh with homes of the rich and famous in a complex web that keeps you guessing, changing your mind, and longing for resolution as more lives are threatened. Fast action and sharp dialog combine with convincing characters, locations and plot as another well-piloted mystery is brought deftly to land, leaving the reader both satisfied and eager for more. There are lots of dark mystery series out there, but David Freed's Cordell Logan mysteries shine bright with good will, good humor, vivid contrasts and, of course, flight.
Disclosure: I was given a free bound galley of this novel by the publisher, the Permanent Press, in exchange for my honest review.
Title: Fangs Out
Author: David Freed
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Pub Date: April 2013