Title: Fangs Out by David Freed
Publisher: Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 270 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
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
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.