Jacob Franks was arrested and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit. Did the experience leave him bitter? Not really. Angry? Maybe a little. Cynical? Sarcastic? Absolutely. But he doesn’t let that get in his way when he has a job to do.
Stanley Morrison, a thirty-year-old autistic man is arrested for the murder of his friend and landlady. But private investigator Jacob Franks doesn’t believe Stanley’s guilty. In a race against time he must learn where the gun came from and what the motive was in order to determine who really killed Joan Cubrik. It’s a mystery adventure where the good guys aren’t all good and the bad guys aren’t all bad.–Description from Amazon.com
At first, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. I have seen a lot of second rate murder mysteries in the last few years and for a while I even refused to read any that weren’t published by a trusted author I had read before. Patrick Freeman’s “A Smoking Gun” is much different. Not only was it fun to read and intelligent, but I found that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the main character in this book. He is internally sarcastic, realistic and hilarious. He tells things like they are and isn’t afraid to put his nose in the middle of everyone’s business. He is an optimist and great at what he does. Many of the the thoughts Jacob Franks expressed during his investigations were so familiar to me as they were things I would have (and already had) thought myself. I find when I can forget that the character I am reading is fictional and relate to the opinion they express, it is much easier to make a connection with the rest of the story.
The crime in this book is intertwined with other stories and I thought the author handled it very well. The main character has a life outside of work and the author goes into enough detail to make the rest of the story seem plausible without boring the reader with minute details of the character’s life.
As for the actual mystery itself, I wasn’t certain I knew who did it until I was close to finishing the book. I guessed along the way and was wrong more than once. That is what I ask for in a mystery, that I can’t figure it out on page one. The author managed to twist a believable tale that was entertaining and fun to read. I would have liked to have seen a little tighter editing, but all in all, the few errors were forgivable and in one instance made me laugh which added to my delight with this story.
Along with the murder mystery, the main character is trying to decide what to do with his love life, which adds another element and layer to this already entertaining story. I personally think he is wrong about who his dream woman is…and that is the joy of reading a well written work, you can plainly see what would be best for the character you grow to like so much.
Give this one a shot, you won’t leave without a smile.