TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE
Michael Koryta, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $23.95 (304p) I
A pair of PIs investigate the murder of one of their own in Koryta's sharp, fast-paced debut. Crusty old John Weston hires partners Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard to investigate both the death of his son, Wayne, in an incident the cops have ruled a suicide, and the disappearance of Wayne's wife and young daughter. Perry and Pritchard soon determine that Wayne was working for Jeremiah Hubbard, "Cleveland's answer to Donald Trump," in a series of surveillance jobs that brought him into contact with Russian mobsters. The case heats up considerably when the detectives locate Randy Hartwick, a Marine who served with Wayne in a special ops unit, only to have him shot right before their eyes. The cat-and-mouse game shifts to South Carolina, as Perry noses around a Myrtle Beach resort where Hartwick had worked security, only to stumble into Wayne's daughter and wife, who are staying at the same hotel. Julie Weston reveals that she has a videotape her husband made of the mobsters committing a murder, and soon they're both in danger when the Russians come looking for the tape. Although he occasionally tries to substitute jaded PI patter for genuine character development, 21-year-old Koryta delivers well-crafted scenes and genuinely surprising plot twists. This riveting detective novel should delight fans looking for new talent.
Reviewed on: 08/30/2004