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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HARRY STARKE (Harry Starke #1) (audiobook) by Blair Howard

Audiobook edition published in November of 2015

Harry Starke is a former cop turned private detective in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He has a successful agency with several associates with different skill sets. Harry is also connected to the Chattanooga political scene through his father, a federal judge.

Most importantly, Harry is connected through his connections as a former police officer. He knows a lot of cops, knows the department's habits and has a romantic relationship with an important detective. 

Most important, Harry is a smart, tough detective who can put two and two together, get four and figure out why that answer is important to the rest of the problem. Plus, he can shoot and fight well.
The Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.

Harry is out for a late night drink and he notices a beautiful young lady. Later, while strolling across the Walnut Street Bridge he sees her running seemingly running away from someone and running towards him. She stops when she sees him and she jumps off of the bridge to her death. Harry wants to know what would make her do that for two reasons. He is simply curious and he feels guilty that she may have mistaken him for someone else and killed herself in a vain effort to escape.

The positives of the book:

-The setting. I love mysteries but way too many are set in New York or Los Angeles. Do they have crime in Chattanooga? Certainly. Let's explore some new territory. I spent some time in Chattanooga last summer and I enjoyed the fact that I was able to recognize some of the areas that the book mentioned.

-The audiobook narrator. Tom Lennon did a good job of giving his characters a soft Southern accent. He did a good job of creating multiple voices for these characters.

The negatives of this book:

-In some ways this book was a throwback to an earlier time when private detectives encountered one beautiful woman after another in the course of their investigations and slept with them all. I know that all fiction is fantasy, but this was more than a little ridiculous. The woman practically fell over themselves in an effort to take this man to bed.

-The mystery, once it was uncovered, was certainly a throwback idea. Almost something that you might find on an old episode of Columbo.

-Harry Starke talks too much. He talks in his head. He talks out loud. He just goes on and on and on. If you are reading a book you can skim but there is no such option when you are listening.

While not bad, I just did not enjoy this book. My 3 out of 5 star rating means that it was good, not great. If I were to grade it, I would give it a C+.

Note: I was provided with an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Harry Starke #1.

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