Someone is following Lauren Lewis. She ducks into the office of PI Jimmy "Soldier" Riley, not to hire him, but to find out if he's the one following her. Back when they were lovers he told her if he ever decided to, she'd never know he was there. It's 1940s Panama City, Florida. The world is at war, and the growing panhandle paradise is doing its part. Tyndall Field is training pilots. Wainwright Shipyard is building battleships. The Naval Section Base is protecting vessels in the Gulf. The Dixie Sherman Hotel is hosting celebrities such as Clark Gable. Harry Lewis, a wealthy banker, is running for mayor, unaware his wife is running for her life.
With a secret to hide and a husband running for mayor in a city exploding and expanding like no other time in history, Lauren doesn't want trouble, but she's about to get a double-barrel full of it. Only one man can help her, and though it might destroy him, he doesn't mind. Better to die than be the walking wounded. The story of a guy, a girl, and a gun, The Big Goodbye is Florida Noir at its finest.
©2011 Michael Lister (P)2012 Michael Lister
"A seductive mix of sudden violence and aw emotion, Michael Lister's The Big Goodbye is a much-welcome contribution to the hardboiled, P.I. tradition. Cool stuff." (Victor Gischler, author of Gun Monkeys and The Shotgun Opera)
"Stylish, retro, and highly entertaining. Michael Lister's PI Jimmy 'Soldier' Riley is a compelling new noir hero." (Jason Starr, author of Twisted City and Bust)
"What fun to see 1940s Panama City, Florida through the eyes of tough, wise-cracking PI Jimmy Riley. This is my kind of book: tough and violent with snappy dialogue and great atmosphere, beautiful women with hidden agendas, and a long lost world that we mostly know through ancient postcards and faded photographs. Get ready for a suspenseful, romantic and historic ride." (Ace Atkins, author of White Shadow)
It was entertaining if not predictable. The PI is still carrying a torch for his ex-lover who is married to another more successful man. When she comes to him accusing him of following her, he bites and starts following her.
Jimmy "Soldier" Riley. He's working as a PI and everyone around him assumes he lost his arm in the war but he actually lost it in a gunfight while working as a cop.
There were a few scenes where people, especially women, insisted on calling Jimmy "Soldier" assuming he lost his arm in the war. Rather than explain, he just goes along with it.
No. It was like so many noir stories I've read.
The least enjoyable aspect of the book was the resolution of the conflict. Given the information in the book, there was no foreshadowing of the person responsible, thus creating who antagonist who was not plausible. The denouement was extremely well done !
After the resolution of this book, I would hesitate to buy another of his works
He spoke to quickly which detracted greatly from the story, although his words are very clear.
yes . The denouement leads to a sequel very easily.
When I am in doubt whether a mystery is well written I refer to my 12 criteria of a good mystery novel.. This book fails on 2 key points. 1) It must baffle a seasonably intelligent reader, and 2) the solution must seem inevitable once revealed. There was no way these 2 criteria were met. The person responsible came out of left field. Very disappointing ending, but otherwise a decent read
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