Category Archives: Permanent Press

Review: Fangs Out by David Freed

Title: Fangs Out by David Freed
Publisher: Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 270 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author

Summary:

Moments before he is executed, the killer of famed Vietnam War hero-pilot Hub Walker’s daughter makes a startling allegation: the real murderer is Walker’s close friend, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days hunting up information that will refute the convicted killer’s groundless but widely reported claims, and help restore his friend’s good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist and retired military assassin Cordell Logan. Thus begins one of the year’s most suspenseful mystery-thrillers.

A Medal of Honor recipient married to a former Playmate of the Year, Walker resides in the swanky San Diego enclave of La Jolla, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Logan is convinced that working for Walker will be little more than a paid vacation – a chance to rub shoulders with a living legend while rekindling Logan’s relationship with his own enticing ex-wife, Savannah. But after flying to San Diego in his beloved aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, Logan is quickly drawn into a vexing and deadly jigsaw puzzle. The deeper he digs, the murkier the truth appears, and the more in danger he finds himself. Who really killed the war hero’s daughter, and why? Somebody in “America’s Finest City,” wants to stop Logan from asking questions, and will stop at nothing to silence him

The Review:

Fang’s Out, David Freed’s second novel featuring intrepid flying instructor turned reluctant investigator Cordell Logan, is just as well-written and engrossing as Flat Spin. The mystery is quite intriguing, the dialogue is fresh and laced with humor, and the cast of characters is colorful and engaging.

In this second outing, Cordell Logan is the same irresistible character we first met in Flat Spin. He is definitely a work in progress but he is beginning to make a little headway with some of the issues that continue to plague him. His business is continuing to limp along and as before, a much needed infusion of cash is part of the reason Logan agrees to investigate Ruth Walker’s death. He and ex-wife Savannah are making slow but steady progress rebuilding their relationship but his endearing ineptness keeps him in the doghouse much of the time. Logan is hard at work trying to find some balance in his life as a Buddhist, but his personal beliefs are often at odds with Buddha’s teachings.

One of Mr. Freed’s strengths as an author is his ability to provide a well-rounded and eclectic cast of splendidly developed characters. Logan’s vivacious octogenarian landlady and close friend Mrs. Schmulowitz is as delightful as ever and their interactions are quite humorous. Logan’s affection for his indolent feline companion Kiddiot (I absolutely love this name!!!) and Mrs. Schmulowitz smoothes some of his rougher edges and adds to his charm.

Logan’s investigation into Ruth’s murder is quite compelling and fast paced. He still manages to irritate most everyone he meets, but there are a few people who manage to overlook his sometimes abrasive personality and their input proves invaluable. His previous career in covert ops provides Logan with the necessary skills to work his way out of a few tight situations.

In this outstanding sequel to Flat Spin, David Freed skillfully weaves together yet another well-executed and impossible to solve mystery. Fangs Out is full of unexpected twists and turns that will keep even the most well-seasoned mystery reader guessing the killer’s identity. An excellent addition to this unique series that I highly recommend.

Read my review of Flat Spin HERE.

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Filed under Contemporary, David Freed, Fangs Out, Mystery, Permanent Press, Rated B+, Review

Flat Spin by David Freed

Title: Flat Spin by David Freed
Publisher: Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 300 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Author

Summary:

Based in sunny Rancho Bonita – “California’s Monaco” as the city’s moneyed minions like to call it – Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah’s late husband is, after all, Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.

Logan and Echevarria were once comrades-in-arms assigned to a top-secret military assassination team known simply as “Alpha.” Though Savannah was never privy to the gritty details of their assignment, she suspects that Echevarria’s death must be related to the work he did for the government. The only problem is, the LAPD can find no record of Echevarria ever having toiled for Uncle Sam. Savannah wants Logan to tell the police what he knows. At first he refuses, but then, relying on his small, aging airplane, the Ruptured Duck, and on the skills he honed working for the government, Logan doggedly hunts Echevarria’s killer.

His trail takes him from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the most dangerous ghettos of inner-city Oakland, from darkened, Russian mafia haunts in West Los Angeles to the deserts of Arizona. Along the way, Logan is stalked by a mysterious motorist who repeatedly tries to kill him. But that’s the least of his problems. It is his love-hate relationship with Savannah, a woman Logan continues to pine for in spite of himself, that threatens to consume him.

Transcending the worlds of murder, aviation and international counterterrorism, Flat Spin resonates with a veracity that only an author who knows his subject firsthand can deliver.

The Review:

David Freed’s debut novel Flat Spin is an intriguing and enthralling mystery that is rife with humor, remarkable characters and a plot that is full of twists and turns. Formerly an assassin for the elite and top secret “Alpha” team, Cordell Logan is now a struggling flight instructor. When his ex-boss and former friend is murdered, Cordell finds himself smack dab in the middle of the murder investigation. With no shortage of suspects and some help from a well-placed friend, Cordell is hot on the trail of the killer.

The most appealing aspect of Flat Spin is wise-cracking Cordell Logan. Full of caustic wit and self-deprecating humor, Logan is an endearing protagonists whose flaws and failings add to his charm. He is a lovable hero who manages to irritate almost everyone that crosses his path including his ex-wife Savannah and the police investigating Arlo’s murder. He is also still pining after Savannah and their scenes are fraught with tension over their unresolved issues and Cordell’s simmering sexual attraction for his sexy and beautiful ex-wife. Despite his animosity toward Arlo Echevarria, his loyalty to the comrade-in-arms who once saved his life won’t let him abandon the investigation into his death.

The cast of secondary characters is also superb. Cordell’s ex-father-in-law is a larger than life figure and it is his irresistible offer that brings Cordell into the investigation. Cordell’s lively eighty something landlady Mrs. Schmulowitz is absolutely adorable and quite hilarious. Buzz, a loyal friend from his covert ops days, proves to be an invaluable source of information. But the character that truly stole my heart (and several scenes) is Cordell’s lazy and defiantly independent feline companion.

Details from Cordell’s mysterious past are seamlessly woven with current events and reveal fascinating information about his involvement in clandestine operations. It also provides a great deal of insight into his relationships with Savannah and Arlo. His experience as a covert assassin gives him the necessary skills and resources he needs to track down Arlo’s killer.

Flat Spin is an intricately plotted fast moving murder mystery that is quite compelling. David Freed masterfully keeps the murderer’s identity tightly under wraps and brings this suspenseful story to a jaw-dropping and stunning conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, David Freed, Flat Spin, Mystery, Permanent Press, Rated B+