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.
What did you love best about The Big Goodbye?
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.
Who was your favorite character and why?
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.
Which scene was your favorite?
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.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No. It was like so many noir stories I've read.
What did you like best about The Big Goodbye? What did you like least?
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 !
Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Lister? Why or why not?
After the resolution of this book, I would hesitate to buy another of his works
What three words best describe Allen Walker’s voice?
He spoke to quickly which detracted greatly from the story, although his words are very clear.
Do you think The Big Goodbye needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
yes . The denouement leads to a sequel very easily.
Any additional comments?
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