Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dave Brandstetter on the Job for Pinnacle Life

Pinnacle insurance has issued a policy on the life of Paul Myers, a truck driver. Only a couple of months later, Myers' truck flies off a cliff and Myers is killed. As a matter of routine, Pinnacle hires crack investigator Dave Brandstetter to look into the matter.

The matter turns out to be anything but routine when investigators learn that someone had planted an explosive device under the cab of the truck and that the device was detonated just before the truck went airborne. When Dave goes to visit the widow, Angela Myers, he finds that she's been recently beaten. She claims that her husband did it just before he died, but Dave isn't buying it.

Dave also quickly learns that Paul Myers' best friend, another trucker who was hard up for cash, has also just died, apparently from a heart attack, and Dave is now convinced that something sinister is definitely going on.

Of course there is, or there would be no book. And this is a pretty good one.

Dave's lover, Cecil, is still recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained at the end of Dave's last adventure, and in and around nursing Cecil back to health, Dave sets out to determine what was going on during the last few days of Paul Myers' life and why Angela Myers is so reluctant to discuss it. It seems pretty clear that Paul Myers was involved in something shady, and before too long, Dave can only hope to stay alive long enough himself to figure out what it was.

This is one of the better books in an excellent series. As always, Hansen creates memorable characters and vividly marks out his southern California territory, in the process showing why he's a worthy successor to the writers like Raymond Chandler who first claimed this region for their own.

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