May 1, 2012

Flat Spin by David Freed

Flat Spin, scheduled for release today, is a captivating mystery thriller written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Freed, who covered the Rodney King riots, Desert Storm and other important events in history. The following is a summary, courtesy of Amazon because it is much better than I can provide myself, of Freed's new thriller.

Based in sunny Rancho Bonita - "California's Monaco" as the city's moneyed minions like to call it - Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah's late husband, after all, is Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.

Logan and Echevarria were once comrades-in-arms assigned to a top-secret military assassination team known as "Alpha." The only problem is, the LAPD can find no record of Echevarrias ever having toiled for Uncle Sam. Savannah wants Logan to tell the police what he knows. At first he refuses, but then, relying on his small, aging airplane, the "Ruptured Duck," and the skills he honed working for Alpha, Logan doggedly hunts Echevarria's killer.

His trail takes him from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the most dangerous ghettos of inner-city Oakland, from darkened, Russian Mafia haunts in West Los Angeles to the deserts of Arizona. But that's the least of his problems. It is his love-hate relationship with Savannah, a woman Logan continues to pine for in spite of himself, that threatens to consume him.

 I personally read Flat Spin in one night and I really enjoyed it. The characters were captivating and there were some laugh out loud lines, which I loved. Logan is a witty and charming character who I greatly enjoyed. I especially loved his landlady, Mrs. Schmulowitz, who seems to be the exact kind of person I want to live next to for the sheer entertainment of an eccentric elderly woman. Mrs. Schmulowitz easily became my favorite character and Freed made her an entertaining character that added to the story in a fun and light way without taking away from the thrill of a crime novel.

I truly enjoyed the book and liked the story a lot. However, I must admit that there was way too much unnecessary vulgar language. I hit my limit of allowable language way too early in the book and it didn't get better. It could have easily been left out and the novel would be better without it. I enjoyed the book, but due to my distaste for the over-abundance of cursing, I can only give the book 3 1/2 stars.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review.

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