Cooler Than Blood
Mason Alley Publishing, Feb 24 2015, $14.99
St. Pete Beach, FL.
Billy Ray Coleman drives south heading to Fort Myers Beach carrying $284,000 that he expects will soon send his brothers after him. His first and last thought about the Sunshine State is that he never had sex there. Thus he feels euphoric when he spots, selects and assaults eighteen year old Jenny Spencer on a Fort Myers Beach
With his girlfriend Kathleen on board, Jake Travis sails the Gulf on his boat the Impulse when his cell rings for the second time, which like the first time he ignores Susan Blake’s desperate call. An attractive acquaintance Susan tests his loyalty to Kathleen as she begs him to find her missing niece Jenny since local police ignore her plea insisting the teen likely ran away since she recently did just that. Jake and his P.I. partner Garrett Demarcus search for Jenny, who apparently killed her attacker and unbeknownst to the sleuths ran off with his money. However, the inquiry becomes muddled when the investigation leads to a link to Kathleen’s one-time mob-ties and soon afterward even more obfuscated.
The second Jake Travis mystery (see The Second Letter) is a superb suspenseful private investigator noir. Jake is a sensational sleuth as he keeps the exhilarating storyline focused while pursuing the teen and dodging mobsters. Kathleen and Susan add depth to the inquiry, but also challenge the protagonist’s efforts to remain monogamous. Although Jenny comes across more as a jaded adult similar to the other two females tormenting the hero than a teen, Cooler Than Blood will elate the subgenre audience.