Tag Archives: well crafted story

Don’t Look Down

Never Look Down 2

Never Look Down: A Cal Claxton Mystery by Warren C. Easley (Poisoned Pen Press, $15.95, 312 pages)

Fans of Portland, Oregon will be delighted with author Warren Easley’s series set in and around the city. Never Look Down is the third in the series (Dead Float, Matters of Doubt) featuring Cal Claxton. Claxton is an attorney who balances his boutique winery clients in the country with his pro bono work in Old Town Portland for folks of all ages and persuasions that are down and out.

Easley has a smooth, natural writing style that works well in both the chapters narrated in the first person by Claxton and the third person narrative chapters – from the perspective of a teenage orphan whose street smarts are both instinctual and learned. The counterpoint to Claxton’s adult measured approach to life is Kelly Spence, whose father died in a mountain climbing accident leaving her to fend for herself along with her dad’s girlfriend Veronica.

The urgency created by a murder witnessed by Kelly brings the two together. Claxton’s best buddy, Hernando Mendoza, was collateral damage from the murder in that the woman he was going to marry was the victim. Kelly is a tagger whose work is anonymous and yet noted by the establishment in downtown Portland. Her anonymity is in jeopardy as she bounces around the city running from the murderers.

Never Look Down back cover

Anything beyond these storyline basics will give away too much of a well-crafted plot. To Easley’s credit, the story has an even balance of both Claxton’s and Kelly’s perspectives on life and living.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was received from the publisher.

Not Dead Enough

Not Dead Enough, the fourth book in the Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery series will be released by Poisoned Pen Press on June 7, 2016.

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Time in a Bottle

Without Warning (Nook Book)

Without Warning: A Thriller by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 295 pages)

It was hard for me to judge what the impact of the news would be once the public became aware of it. I wasn’t concerned that people would consider me a suspect in the killings; I was too well-known, and respected, for that to be a likely outcome. Besides, the circumstances of the capsule predictions were so bizarre as to make it even more improbable that I could be involved.

Maine Police Chief Jake Robbins is a widower whose wife was murdered by her former lover, the husband of an old high school sweetheart, Katie Sanford. Moreover, the town’s newspaper, The Wilton Journal, has been in Katie’s family for generations. That’s just for starters!

Wilton is a small Maine town where a recent flood caused by a hurricane has put the contents of a 50-year time capsule at risk of water damage. The time capsule is a local tradition sponsored by the Journal. Naturally, the right thing to do is to dig up the capsule and check for damage. It has been buried for four years. Inspection of the capsule’s contents produces a surprise. There’s an additional packet of papers which were not part of the original burial listing. The papers contain ominous predictions, some of which have come to pass.

Author Rosenfelt is so adept at spinning a tale that the reader is lulled into a sense of being on the scene and – contrary to the pace of a thriller, this one moves at a Maine small town speed. A third person narrator in some of the chapters offsets the narrative by Jake Robbins. Rosenfelt also sprinkles in an occasional peek into the mind of a very twisted person!

No need for spoiler alerts here! This reviewer wouldn’t dream of ruining such a well-crafted tale.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher. Without Warning Audible Audio

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