cover image The Sundown Speech: An Amos Walker Novel

The Sundown Speech: An Amos Walker Novel

Loren D. Estleman. Tor, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3736-8

A weak plot, which includes a major contrivance, mars Shamus Award–winner Estleman’s 25th Amos Walker novel (after 2014’s You Know Who Killed Me). An Ann Arbor, Mich., couple hire the Detroit PI to find Jerry Marcus, a missing filmmaker they invested money with. Marcus was working on a sci-fi project with a premise that sounds like a parody from the Simpsons (“aliens from a planet run by a totalitarian regime come to Earth to clone both front-runners for the office of the president of the United States”). Locating Marcus raises more questions than answers, and Walker soon has several murders to solve. While the hard-edged narration is as spot-on as ever, the supporting characters, from a goth college student with a heart of gold to the detective’s clients, are less nuanced than usual. The series’s many fans can only hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Nov.)