Turn Left at September
O'Conner, Springfield and McCoy series, No. 2
by Dennis Collins
Dennis Collins has a nice way of writing about horrible issues and a certain class that
separates him from the mundane. You have friends meeting in a bar/eatery on a Friday night
and think that they are just going to be discussing the latest movie or the next place they
can go and have some fun. But that is not what the biggest part of the speculation is on
the four Friday nights just before Christmas this year for the group of three friends.
Two of the three are Detectives Otis Springfield and Albert McCoy, and the third, Michael
O'Conner, is an enterprising Private Detective. They have become fast friends despite
many turns in their careers and lives. O'Conner lives up in the northern woods of Michigan,
and Springfield and McCoy are both in Detroit. They gather occasionally for a brew and
dinner after a long week. They share shoptalk and think about getting away from it all
to spend New Year's in the northern country where it is cold and desolate, far away from
the turmoil of the city. Life is brewing a storm for the three of them, and it all concerns
a young girl who is trying to right her choices and make a better place for her future.
The young gal, Monica, working as a drug pusher, also just made a step that will change
her whole future if, and it is a big IF, she can get away from the gang of thugs that supply
her stash for sale to young school kids on the street. The leader of that gang is a guy
named Billy Bones, and he holds court in an old run-down, deserted, decrepit neighborhood.
The cops have been trying for a decade to get this guy. Billy Bones is an evil genius and
uses his mind to play a deadly game with Monica that, when she finally figures it all out,
has her running scared. He likes the game and demands payment be made for her transgressions
The chase is on and Monica is the prize, but she finds help from the unlikely trio of
friends. People die horrible deaths, but Collins dresses them nicely, so even as you know
they have expired in very nasty ways, it is palatable.
This is Collins's second novel, and he has a very entertaining way about his writing and
use of everyday language to make the reader feel comfortable. I sat down and read the book
in about two days, and even though I had to stop and do things during that time, I picked it
up as fast as I could. Collins has the ability to tell a story that weaves you into it as
a bystander so that you really want to know what happens next. I think soon Collins will
be a household name in the mystery writing business. He has a bright future as an author
and storyteller. He makes the characters very real, with depth and clarity. The fact
that they are all just like the guy down the street or at the neighborhood bar makes you
feel as though you know each of them, and you read faster so that you can find out what
eventually happens. A tight, well-written, gripping story of trying to beat the odds.
Murder mystery, suspense|
NOTE: Very mild, very soft crime, easy to read and more enjoyable to this reviewer than
most graphic murder mysteries.|
Holidays: Christmas and New Years
Claudia Turner VanLydegraf|