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Night Tremors (Rick Cahill Thrillers) Paperback – July 12, 2016
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“VERDICT Coyle doesn’t disappoint in this sophomore entry after the Anthony Award–winning Yesterday’s Echoes. In this tale we find all the elements that garnered the first book such high praise: complex characters, snappy dialog, a fast-paced plot, and a clever blending of crime noir tropes with today’s culture. The gods seem to take delight in persecuting Rick Cahill, but readers will relish this fast-paced and complex whodunit.” — Library Journal
About the Author
Matt has a degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He’s taken detours into the restaurant business, the golf business, and the sports collectible business. His first novel Yesterday’s Echo won the Anthony award for best first novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Published Mystery and the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Silver Award. Night Tremors is Matt’s second novel in the Rick Cahill crime series. Matt lives in San Diego with his yellow Lab, Angus. He is hard at work on the next Rick Cahill crime novel.
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“Night Tremors” was a finalist of the Lefty Award for Best Regional Mystery, a finalist for the Anthony Award for Best Mystery, and a finalist for the Shamus Award, so if that collection of praise means anything others also liked the book. All these platitudes aside, “Night Tremors” a continuation to the Cahill series I find an extreme amount of affection for, P.I. Moira McFarlane, Cahill’s sometime helper in sleuthing, whom I mentioned in my review of Mr. Coyle’s fourth book “Blood Truth”, which I happened to have read first (I hope Moira appears in the third book also).
As the series continues, we remember that Cahill has quit his restaurant job at the end of the last book to become a P.I. “Night Tremors” picks up about two years later and our P.I. is stuck doing lowly entry level jobs such as photographing adulterous spouses, and he is bored. So he is drawn to the case of Randall Eddington. Imprisoned in San Quentin eight years earlier, at age 18, for the brutal murder of his parents and sister.
The investigation is complicated by the involvement of a vicious biker gang, the ethically compromised La Jolla cops, who may have known that Randall was framed, or framed him themselves and Cahill’s own obsessive need to study every aspect of the murder.
The books move at a fast pace and are thoroughly enjoyable. If Mr. Coyle listens to his readers he will give us a book staring Moira’s background and adventures.
Coyle has a sure sense of plotting and brings so much life to the setting, San Diego, that it feels like one of the characters. The story takes Rick to some of the darker sides of humanity and more than once I found myself muttering, "Don't do it, don't do it, Rick." But he always did. And that's what makes a great story. I'm looking forward to the next novel in the series.
Rick Cahill is a La Jolla private investigator famous for his ability to stalk cheating spouses -- a line of work he no longer relishes. He desperately needs a more important case to get back some self-worth. An old lawyer associate offers him one -- a re-investigation of an eight year old notorious murder case in which Randall Eddington, the teenage heir to the Eddington Golf fortune, was convicted in the brutal slaying of his stepfather, mother and younger sister. New evidence has emerged suggesting Randall's innocence and the Eddington grandparents are desperate to free their grandson. Cahill is initially dubious but feels compelled to take the case as new information comes to light. But along the way he runs into opposition from nearly everyone involved, from the new witness, from the La Jolla Police Department, from his own boss, from a local motorcycle gang and, most curious of all, from the Eddington's themselves. Every riddle solved uncovers a new one until the end when everything seems to turn on its head.
Matt Coyle is from La Jolla, CA, and his writing style has been compared to Raymond Chandler, La Jolla's most famous mystery writer. I actually find his style more akin to Ross MacDonald (no slouch by any stretch) with his mind-bending plot twists, and not so much like Chandler's rather more colorful prose and straight forward plots. Occasionally there is too much legal thriller here when a psychological thriller style would be more interesting. And some people may read the opening paragraph and think they mistakenly downloaded erotica -- but keep reading -- it's actually a pretty mild introduction to the sleazier side of private investigation work. None of those issues drag down this book's rating. I give it five stars.
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