Archive for 'O’Neil, Vincent H.'
REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES is the second Frank Cole book. Frank Cole is a man with a failed business who is hiding out in Exile, Florida while his bankruptcy judgement is appealed. He had the bad luck to run into a particularly vengeful judge and needs to keep his income low and his head down until his lawyer straightens everything out. In the meantime, he has taken a night job as a taxi dispatcher. After a nightâ€™s work, one of the drivers is telling the others about an unusual passenger he had driven the night before. A young man in a big hurry to get away from a motel â€“ which they later discover is the scene of a large drug bust.
When three different groups of people come to the taxi stand where Frank works to ask after the young man, Frank canâ€™t help but be intrigued. And when the body turns up, Frank becomes involved in the police investigation as they try to figure out who all the players are and what the game is.
I loved Oâ€™Neillâ€™s first book, MURDER IN EXILE, and wasnâ€™t a bit disappointed by this sequel. It is a tangled web of characters with hidden motives that gets so snarled up that even one of the characters in the book has to make a chart to keep it all straight! Frank Cole seems real and endearing and the characters around him highlight his self-imposed exile and isolation. But Frank is also an enjoyable sleuth. He doesnâ€™t act stupidly and cause the reader to mutter or roll the eyes while reading. He thinks out his moves and tries to protect himself. And, frankly, I think these attributes show both a well-written character and a well-plotted story. Oâ€™Neill doesnâ€™t need to rely on a Frankâ€™s bumbling or coincidence to move the story in the right direction â€“ he knows where the story is going and gets us there in an enjoyable, absorbing manner.
Did I guess it? No. Favorite character? I love Frank Cole. Will I read another? Absolutely. While I am tempted to encourage Mr. Oâ€™Neill to write faster, book of this quality take time. Iâ€™ll try to be patient.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007