- File Size: 484 KB
- Print Length: 321 pages
- Publisher: Mill City Press (October 4, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 4, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0765VNM1K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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DEAD AIR: A Glenn Beckert Mystery Kindle Edition
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Beck finds Irene, an old love, to help him unlock the mystery of Zito’s laptop. The laptop reveals even more than they both could have expected. Meanwhile, they start to realize there is still chemistry between them. Add in both mysterious and not so mysterious threats on Beck’s life, and you have the premise of this thrilling novel.
I felt like this novel did a fantastic job of utilizing a standard mystery format to deliver a thrilling and engaging story. A 'whodunit' novel that develops fascinating characters and puts them in some interesting situations.
I enjoyed the depth of each character, which is important in building suspense in a mystery novel. Cliff Protzman has fully realized characters with their own personal quandaries about right and wrong, which is refreshing. So many writers create characters that don’t adapt and flow through the story. It’s nice to see someone really put some thought and love into their character development.
What has really made this novel enjoyable is the way the mystery unfolds. It felt like the murder victim had many layers that Beck was slowly peeling off, one by one, only to find that the person at the core wasn’t who he appeared to be. In a way, many of the characters were that way. Each having their individual things they wanted the world to see, but as the story line and the investigation continued, we get to see the real person underneath the facade. Some of those people were nothing like what they wanted everyone else to believe they were.
Dead Air: A Glenn Beckert Mystery by Cliff Protzman is a well written dark murder mystery novel. The story was easy to follow with twists that I could follow. Get yourself ready for this novel; it was a fun read.
Investigator and owner of Blue Water Security Glenn “Beck” Beckert finds his friend Richie Zito dead at his radio station Z-Rock. One of his operatives was there at the time. Glenn feels that his employee is not telling the truth. Richie’s brother Ron is also at the station.
When the police arrive, Beck has mixed feelings to find his old teammate Lieutenant James “Pags” Paglironi is in charge of the case. Initially shut out by Pags, he learns later that Pags wants his help. Together they will investigate the case.
The widow Geraldine “Gerry” is naturally a suspect. She and Richie had what one might call an “open” marriage. They each had several sexual partners. Gerry is currently involved with a man called Vince Coleman. Beck suspects him of something. He and Gerry have a large connection to a local organization that provides assistance to the blighted areas of Pittsburgh.
An encrypted file is found on Richie’s computer. Pags slyly slips Beck a copy of it and he takes it to Irene Schade who is an old love interest and a computer hacker. When the file is finally opened, it turns out to be a spreadsheet showing large money transactions between this organization and several offshore banks. Beck believes it is money laundering. Meanwhile he is being followed. He gets a beating in a parking lot. I appreciate the way in which Beck just didn’t bounce back up and keep going. It’s nice when the hero acts like normal people who would take a beating and hurt for days afterward.
Irene and Beck are being followed. A police officer was able to get the license number of the car and Pags tells Beck who it was. He then visits the man and does some rough talking. After Beck tells Gerry about the file she disappears. Is she afraid for herself or is she protecting someone else?
When Mr. Jenkins the head of the organization that is running the scheme is also killed the tension ratchets up. Beck must find Gerry. He and Irene think they’ve located her and then all hell breaks loose.
The name of the murderer is somewhat of a surprise, but Mr. Protzman gave sufficient clues towards the end of the book to give it away.
This is a remarkable book for a first time author. It is both very well written and plotted. It read linearly and made sense every step of the way. It had just the right amount of tension and delivered it at the appropriate times. Sufficient background was given on the main characters, but not so much that it intruded on the story line. I truly enjoyed the novel. I am very much looking forward to reading more of his work.
I want to thank NetGalley and Mill City Press for forwarding to me a copy of this most remarkable debut for me to read and enjoy.
The setting is one of the main characters. I grew up around Pittsburgh and the sense of place and the landmarks and 'vibe' is absolutely spot on. There are numerous mentions of local landmarks and reading this book took me right back there.
The book is deftly plotted and definitely doesn't read like a debut novel in any way. The characterizations are well written and the dialogue is pitch perfect.
I would call it modern noir; gritty but also upbeat and surprisingly humorous. The secondary characters are vibrant and really well written, especially love interest Irene who is smart and beautiful and a good counterpoint for Beckert. The clues are all there in the narrative and the denouement is well paced, exciting and satisfying.
I'm really looking forward to more novels from this author.
321 pages, available in ebook and paperback formats.
Five stars, doesn't get better than this.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.