Monday, August 20, 2012

Frame Up-James Phoenix

Frame Up

James Phoenix

Grey Swan Press, Sep 3 2012, $27.95

ISBN: 9780983490036

Private eye Fenway Burke has not gone to his office in six months while living on board a rusted houseboat in Marblehead Harbor north of Boston. Fenway is close to being an alcoholic as he is recovering from his divorce.

His childhood friend Tiny, who runs Boston's largest bookie joint, hires Boston to do a job for him. Shawn Corbett, a son of a friend of Tiny’s mom, resides in Walpole; sentenced for life for killing a man. Three witnesses testified that he pulled the trigger and other evidence points to Shawn who insists he is innocent. As Fenway chats with the uncooperative detective and the cooperative public defender, bodies are everywhere starting with the murders of the three witnesses. Realizing he will have no seventh inning rest during the investigation, Fenway must end the killing spree of a hit man before he becomes the victim of a walk off homer while also seeking the affluent and influential employer who hired the hit man.

Fans of Parker’s Spencer will enjoy James Phoenix’s take on the mean streets of Boston even though the protagonist can only name two players and lacks the sardonic wit of the Red Sox nation PI centerfold. With a pleasant supporting romance enhancing the top rate investigation, readers anticipate the Green Monster showdown between the professional killer and Burke with the odds on the other guy.

Harriet Klausner

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