SYNOPSIS: Tres Navarre is on his way to becoming an official, licensed P.I., but when one of the people he’s investigating ends up murdered he has to put it on hold. Tres, however, is not one to let sleeping dogs lie and continues the investigation and uncovers things that people would rather have kept buried.
PREVIOUS: Big Red Tequila
Rick Riordan has such a specific style of writing that if you blindly gave me a page from one of his books, I’d be able to tell. It’s fun for me to see that voice take shape reading this mystery series! There were so many moments in this particular book that totally ringed to me as a “Percy Jackson” moment. His writing is such fun to read and I love that Tres is a little different from your typical mystery hero. For one thing he has a PhD in Medieval Literature, which is just a fun little detail that occasionally comes in handy and for another he practices tai chi and would rather use that to disarm his opponents than a gun. He also isn’t super broody like a lot of detectives. Yes he does have his own personal issues to work out, but he never gets too bogged down in the past. He is very much an in the moment type of character. While I do love his writing and I do love the way he builds characters, so far this mystery series feels like it’s missing something. For one thing this book takes place a long period after Big Red Tequila and it was confusing for me at first trying to get back into it. Most mystery series don’t have large gaps in the time line between the books. Also I know mystery series are formulaic, but in the first book there was the hardened “older” woman that Tres sleeps with as well as the kind, innocent “younger” woman that he sleeps with (who later turns out to be playing him for protection) and the exact same set up happens in this book. Now I love a good “girl plays a guy to get what she wants” kind of character, but when it happens two times in a row that’s a little old hat. I also find it interesting that there isn’t ever multiple suspects. There’s always the one guy that is behind it all, Tres only needs to put all the puzzle pieces together. It takes some of the anxiety out of whodunit and puts more into the fun of putting it all together. While the person behind it all is obvious there are some twists in the mystery that make it fun and keep you reading because when there’s death all bets are off and anything goes. Overall I love the voice and I love the characters and I’m eager to see how the books continue to improve has Riordan grew as a writer!