Cruel Numbers

Christopher Beats. Harlequin/Carina, $3.99 e-book (119p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9370-4
Debut author Beats immediately draws readers into his divergent American time line through the engaging narrative voice of ex-military ex-Pinkerton operative Donovan Schist, now working as an independent PI in a 19th-century New York City recovering from the Civil War–induced dissolution of the United States. The case could come straight out of a stereotypical hard-boiled novel: the family of a missing woman, Bridget Cleary, has retained Schist to find her in the mean streets of the Big Apple. His search is in its infancy when some thugs give him a forceful warning to lay off, and continued threats hint that powerful people have an interest in keeping Bridget’s work and whereabouts a secret, which naturally only steels Schist’s determination to ascertain her fate. First-rate prose and a colorful imagination augur well for future books. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2012
Genre: Fiction
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