Something different for you this morning, an e-book novella. If you follow my reviews, you know I'm a big fan of J. A. Jance. I especially enjoy her series featuring Sheriff Joanna Brady set in Arizona, and another featuring J. P. Beaumont set in Seattle. Jance has a home in each of these areas.
J. P. Beaumont was a Seattle cop and alcoholic who finally went to A.A. to sober up. Along the way he inherited a zillion dollars and lives with his wife Mel in the penthouse of a luxurious highrise.
In this novella Beaumont is taken back in memory to the beginning when he first made detective. His first partner was called Pickles because his last name was Gurkey and that reminded everyone of gherkin. Now Beaumont gets a call from Pickles' daughter saying she wants to bring him something. She and her mother had always blamed Beaumont for her father's death, but in going through the house after her mother died she found something her father had typed about his partnership with Beaumont. Now his daughter understands, and she gives the typed sheets to Beau.
I loved this story and I was struck by how easily Jance slips from one character to another, writing first as Beaumont, then as Pickles. Both ring so true. The story is funny as the two get used to each other, and sad too. We discover Beau as a rookie detective and Pickles as the cynical old-timer afraid the department is planning to send him into retirement so he takes out his frustration on his new partner. The crime and the criminals are also believable.
Ring in the Dead is a short read, but then there is a sneaky little trick afterward - a look at the beginning of the next full-length hardcover J. P. Beaumont called Second Watch. Now of course I can't wait until that one comes out.
Highly recommended e-book
Source: William Morrow Imprint, Harper Collins