Title: Voodoo Ridge by David Freed
Cordell Logan Mystery Series Book Three
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 240 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
It’s 1956. A plane bearing a mysterious cargo takes off from a small airport outside Los Angeles and disappears into a raging storm. Nearly 60 years later, while flying over California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, retired military assassin-turned-civilian flight instructor and would-be Buddhist Cordell Logan catches a glint of sunlight on metal and spots what appears to be an aircraft wreckage. His life will never be the same.
Logan and his beautiful ex-wife Savannah, plan a reconciliation in posh Lake Tahoe. But upon landing in the Ruptured Duck, his beloved aging Cessna, Logan agrees to put those plans on hold when he’s asked to help guide a search and rescue team to the remote, mountainous crash site. The team finds not only a long-missing airplane, with the mummified remains of its pilot still at the controls, but something much more recent and far more sinister: the body of a young man, shot to death only hours earlier. Someone has beaten the rescuers to the site and will clearly stop at nothing to profit from what the plane was carrying – including kidnapping and threatening to kill Savannah if Logan refuses to help them carry out their getaway plans. With the clock ticking and the love of his life in peril, Logan is drawn into a vexing vortex as personal and potentially deadly as any he’s ever known.
Voodoo Ridge is a fast-paced adrenaline-fueled thrill ride filled with the kind of unexpected twists, full-throttle action and wry humor that won Freed’s Flat Spin and Fangs Out, the first two installments in the Cordell Logan mystery series, rave reviews and a legion of loyal fans.
In Voodoo Ridge, David Freed’s struggling flight instructor and occasional investigator Cordell Logan’s involvement in a sixty year old mystery becomes deeply personal when his ex-wife and current love interest, Savannah, is kidnapped. Frantic to rescue Savannah before it is too late, Logan is coerced into delivering a mysterious package but a staggering revelation leads to an agonizing moral dilemma.
A shocking announcement at the end of Fang’s Out results in a surprising reconciliation for Logan and Savannah. However, just as they are about to take the next step in their relationship, Logan’s discovery of a downed aircraft puts him in the middle of a search and rescue effort. The decades old mystery surrounding the wreckage is quickly complicated by a recent murder at the crash site and investigators have barely begun probing the case, when Savannah goes missing. Logan quickly begins his desperate search not only for Savannah but the truth about long ago events.
The stakes are incredibly high as Logan digs for answers about the plane crash and its now missing cargo. His search for Savannah yields no viable evidence but he determinedly pursues all leads. His investigation into the mystery of the wrecked plane runs into a dead end and he turns his attention to the present as he looks into the current murder. Logan’s despair and anxiety over Savannah’s kidnapping drive his attempts to solve both past and present crimes but will his efforts culminate with her safe release?
This third installment of the series proves to be the most emotional as Logan anxiously tries to discover Savannah’s whereabouts. It is also the most revealing as he looks back on both his childhood and his former career in covert ops. Logan poignantly reminisces about his marriage and his unwavering love for Savannah, but he also acknowledges the secrecy about his career led to the destruction of their marriage. Logan’s struggle to reconcile his violent past with Buddhist philosophy is ongoing and his personal desires are often in a conflict with Buddha’s teachings.
Voodoo Ridge is full of unexpected twists and turns and again, the killer’s motives and identity are cleverly concealed until the novel’s dramatic conclusion. This intriguing and compelling addition to the Cordell Logan series will leave fans very curious to see what David Freed is planning next for our gruff but lovable hero.