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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Every Secret Crime.

Do not be intimidated by the 429 pages of Doug M. Cummings' latest detective novel, Every Secret Crime. Unlike Nixonland, whose 800-plus pages took me six weeks to slog through, I read Every Secret Crime in two days. It was like swallowing a glass of milk after eating a peanut butter sandwich. The chapters are short, mostly ending in cliff hangers, it doesn't bother too much with character development or internal angst, it's just action action action the end.

The beginning of Every Secret Crime, the second installment in the Reno McCarthy novels, opens with the murder of a wealthy seventeen-year-old high school student in his home. His best friend Lucas is arrested for the crime, mostly on suspicion of being a dumbass. Enter Reno McCarthy, the world's toughest television talking head. He and his TV crew, Jody, the producer, and Al, the cameraman, along with his pal Sunny DeAngelis (Yes. Sunny D.) the bail bondsman, do some investigative reporting and begin unraveling this remarkably complex crime involving a .38 used in an extremely cold murder case, the Chicago mob, a wealthy CEO of a technology corporation, the corrupt Wihego County police department and governing board, and this incredibly weird, mentally challenged sexual assailant named Duane.

The book avoids the inevitably boring denouement that comes after the murderer is revealed and brought to justice by a series of A-ha! moments where the characters run around tying up loose ends and getting shot at, and that pretty much continues to the last page.

I cannot even begin to start describing how all these characters relate to one another and tie into the original crime, and even if I did, that would take all the fun out of the book. Every Secret Crime isn't Great Literature and doesn't try to be, but it's fun, and that's a perfectly fine thing for a book to be.


Every Secret Crime
by Doug M. Cummings
June 2008 by Five Star Publishing
Hardcover, 429pp
ISBN: 1594146659

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