Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars top-notch Gypsy Noir PI tale, February 4, 2012
This review is from: The Invisible Ones (Hardcover)
"The Invisible Ones", by Stef Penney, was such a delightful surprise for me as a reader. It doesn't really fit into one particular category, and the book itself is much, much better than the promos that lead to my interest in obtaining a copy. An intriguing and involving "Gypsy Noir" PI tale, "The Invisible Ones" will hold your interest, and then some! Ray Lovell, half Gypsy or "Romany", is an about-to-be-divorced private investigator who has yet to sign the divorce papers. He broods over his ex-wife, sometimes spying on her and following her, and sometimes he drinks too much for his own good. He is not a sleek, sophisticated "super sleuth". Even though he is not always at his best, he is immediately likeable and has a natural charm all his own. He has the tenacity, instincts, and thought processes which make for a great detective. He doesn't give up--no matter how much he is beaten up! Most of his cases involve cheating spouses, something he knows about from his own wife's infidelity. Against his better nature, he accepts a missing person case from a father trying to find his grown daughter. The family is Romany, and that is why they selected Ray to take the case. The deeper he delves into the facts of the case, the more he explores thoughts about his own heritage. He gets to know himself as he comes to know the Gypsies he must investigate. One of the women he meets, LuLu, has a unique style and appeal that has Ray thinking there may be someone else for him other than his former spouse. He becomes friends with LuLu's half-grown nephew, JJ, who recognizes the goodness in Ray even though he is bent on unearthing the family secrets. What Ray discovers is that the term "missing person" has many different nuances, and he remains determined to solve the puzzles which surround the woman he was hired to find. The most startling revelation of all comes when he discovers that people can be invisible even though they are in plain sight. The narration of the story alternates between the viewpoints of Ray and JJ, both of whom are characters who deserve a happy resolution to their trouble-prone story lines. You will stay with them until the end, and even then, you will want to read more about them. Stef Penney is a terrific storyteller, and I very much look forward to reading her first book, "The Tenderness of Wolves". Highly recommended!

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