A Superb Detective Thriller
The trick to writing a good detective novel, or any novel for that matter, is to blend character, narrative, plotting, dialogue and pacing to create a compelling tale that the reader cannot put down. Fail in one area and you are left with a plodding, if not unbelievable story, that makes you feel like hurling the book across the room. Even if you have all those literary ducks in a row, if you don’t know your stuff it will soon become obvious to the reader.
G.S. (Geoff) Marriott, certainly knows his stuff and has the writing chops to prove it. In this, his second outing in the Detective John Cooper series, Geoff, a former police officer with the Ontario Provincial Police, draws on his extensive experience as a patrol cop, criminal detective and intelligence officer to craft a literate, superbly paced police procedural thriller that ranks right up there with such heavyweights as American authors Michael Connelly and Robert Crais and British detective writers Peter Robinson and Ian Rankin.
This time out, Detective John Cooper is a mess. Four months after nearly dying in a Los Angeles courthouse hostage situation, ‘Coop’ is back in the saddle, but it is a wobbly one. Battling demons he can neither understand nor control, he is suffering from recurring episodes of psychological upheavals, some of which could be characterized by fugue states, which unfortunately his partner has witnessed, but so far only once. His main priority therefore is subterfuge and to hide this from her for as long as possible.
Someone in L.A. has knocked off a judge who habitually has been cutting generous plea bargains with hardened criminals, and that someone is doing so in elaborate fashion. The killer has used guile and special techniques to force the victim to actually pull the trigger on himself. Worse yet, the finger seems to be pointing to Cooper’s old pal and fellow detective, Ralph Edwards, who lost his own daughter to one of those criminals given a sweetheart deal by the judge. Edwards had repeatedly and openly threatened the man and soon thereafter the judge comes up dead, which immediately catapulted him to the top of the suspect pool. The case is Coopers’ to solve and if it doesn’t kill him, it promises to drive him to a place deeper and darker than anywhere he has ever been.
The real strength of The Dealmaker is Marriott’s realism. Everything here rings true, from the L.A. vibe to the good-natured banter and repartee that the detective partners throw back and forth as a way to stay sane even as the case gets more and more complicated. The dialogue is superb, the knowledge of policing and the courts impeccable, and there is a strong vein of whistle-past-the-graveyard humour that culminates in a prank at a “cowboy bar” that is absolutely hilarious. This page-turner shows that the John Cooper series just keeps getting better and better.
- Printed Version: $26.00
- Ebook (pdf): $8.99
G.S. Marriott’s second book, The Dealmaker, may be purchased in print from the following book stores:
- The Rookery BookStore, 25 Main St., Cambridge, Ontario
- Wordsworth Books, 96 King St. Waterloo, Ontario
Purchase a print copy of The Dealmaker from the following online book stores:
Ebook (pdf) Versions
- All books are available in e-book format for all devices and can be purchased through Indigo and Amazon.