Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tight Lie-Don Dahler

Tight Lie
Don Dahler
Minotaur, Mar 17 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312383503

Someone hammers Hollywood actress Holly Ann Cramer with a cappuccino machine, rapes her and murders her with six vicious stabs to her heart. Because the homicide is excessively violent implying a crime of passion, LAPD suspects the victim’s boyfriend, all star baseball player Joniel Baker, who was ending their relationship but swears he did not kill her.

Joniel asks his friend private investigator Huck Doyle to investigate the murder as the prime suspect does not trust the police to look beyond him. Huck, who has a law degree that he does not use and is a licensed private investigator who has license that he does use when he is not sinking the putt on the PGA tour, which is frequently, reluctantly agrees. Complicating the case is a second victim also containing DNA that implicated Joniel. With the help of his disgraced father and his paraplegic brother, Huck begins to believe Joniel’s claim he is being set up

The Doyle family makes this a fine sports mystery as the Huckster narrates the whodunit with a string of enthusiastic birdies about golf, murder and the collapse of society. His two relatives are total opposites when it comes to investigations; dad the ex LAPD cop says the end is all that matters while the brother the ex FBI agent insists the means is just as important. Although the inquiry is conveniently helped, sub-genre fans especially golfers will enjoy Don Dahler’s delightful debut as Huck beats par for the course.

Harriet Klausner