Category Archives: Permanent Press

Review: The Kill Circle by David Freed

Title: The Kill Circle by David Freed
Cordell Logan Mystery Series Book Six
Publisher: Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 280 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author

Summary:

When retired senior CIA analyst Rico Perris plunges off a cliff in his vintage Porsche while speeding through the mountains of Colorado late one snowy night, the local sheriff rules it an accident. CIA officials, however, suspect otherwise. Their suspicions are soon heightened after two other former intelligence analysts turn up dead under questionable circumstances. All three victims were once assigned to the same top-secret project an internal review of the CIA’s long-rumored involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Now, with a Congressional mandate about to go into effect compelling the CIA to release long-secret files relating to the assassination, there is growing concern that a shrewd and ruthless killer is on the loose, one who will stop at nothing to prevent the public from discovering the truth of what happened that tragic day in Dallas in November, 1963.

Veteran pilot, aspiring Buddhist and ex-government assassin Cordell Logan has little interest in helping his former comrade-in-arms, Buzz, who still works in the intelligence community, investigate what looks increasingly like a vexing conspiracy. Content to operate his small civilian flight school in the swanky seaside resort of Rancho Bonita, California, Logan would just as soon be left alone that is, until Buzz introduces him to Layne Sterling, a brilliant and beautiful CIA agent assigned to the case. Logan is instantly drawn to her. Working together while pretending to ignore their simmering mutual attraction, they soon find themselves caught up in a high-stakes, high-altitude cat-and-mouse game, one that in the end could destroy them both.

Fast-paced, brimming with action and humor, The Kill Circle is a page-turner of the first order, the sixth offering in a series of mystery-thrillers that has earned Cordell Logan and author David Freed a legion of loyal readers and critics alike.

Review:

David Freed’s latest release, The Kill Circle, is another clever and riveting installment in the always entertaining Cordell Logan Mystery series.

Cordell finds it surprisingly easy to refuse CIA agent Layne Sterling’s request to help look into the recent death of former CIA analyst Rico Perris.  On the surface, his untimely demise appears to be nothing more than a car accident but considering another retired agent, Joe Zyra, also died recently, the CIA is carefully scrutinizing both deaths. After Logan’s friend and former colleague Buzz reads him the riot act, Cordell reluctantly agrees  to work with Layne. Discovering Perris and Zyra formerly worked on a top secret project about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Logan cannot help but wonder: is it a coincidence that both men died just as formerly unreleased files about JFK’s death are about to be released?  Cordell and Sterling soon head to Colorado to find out the answer to that very intriguing question.

Logan and Sterling’s investigation begins by interviewing local Sheriff Harlan Weber, who has ruled Rico’s death an accident. On the surface, Weber appears to be a devoted grandfather and stellar lawman, but knowing the sheriff’s somewhat checkered history, Cordell is less than convinced Harlan is squeaky clean.  Cordell strikes out his own to collect evidence and  after he is reunited with Sterling, they quickly find themselves in Weber’s crosshairs as he tries to intimidate them into abandoning their investigation.

Although Logan and Sterling are having difficulty finding definitive evidence of foul play, they do uncover enough puzzling information that convinces them to continue their investigation.  Details provided by Perris’s live-in girlfriend send the crime-fighting duo to Denver where they run up against local law enforcement.  With the clock ticking on the investigation as they fail to find proof that Rico was murdered, Logan doggedly stays on the case after learning some their evidence has gone missing. Returning to Weber’s territory, Cordell tries to remain under the radar as he re-interviews people connected to Rico and he slowly but surely begins untangling the details of this perplexing case.

With a puzzling death to investigate, plenty of action and surprising plot twists,  The Kill Circle is a well-plotted and briskly paced addition to the Cordell Logan Mysteries series.  Logan is a seasoned amateur sleuth with keen instincts, a sharp intellect and an inability to leave a job unfinished.  In this sixth outing, David Freed keeps the series fresh through the introduction new characters and a creative storyline. This fantastic whodunit comes a twist-filled, unexpected conclusion that is impossible to predict.  The novel ends with a tantalizing proposition that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Cordell Logan Mystery Series, David Freed, Mystery, Permanent Press, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Kill Circle

Review: Hot Start by David Freed

Title: Hot Start by David Freed
Cordell Logan Mystery Series Book Five
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 312 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author

Summary:

A notorious, international big game hunter and his beautiful, former flight attendant wife are gunned down at long range late one sweltering summer night while swimming naked on their seaside estate in opulent Rancho Bonita, California. Police investigators are convinced that the killer is a strident, outspoken animal rights activist with both military experience and a criminal record. The evidence against him would appear overwhelming–until rumors begin to surface that others may have had their own reasons for committing murder.

The last thing flight instructor, aspiring Buddhist, and ex-government assassin Cordell Logan wants to do is become involved in the investigation. He and the accused, however, have mutual friends. Reluctant at first, Logan finds himself caught up in an increasingly confounding enigma, one that swirls around a popular Congressman with close ties to the White House, a European call girl ring, and a ruthless Czech crime boss who’ll stop at nothing to protect his interests. Pursuing the truth will take Logan to places few others would dare go, exposing him to dangers that even he may not survive.

Along with its four predecessors in the Cordell Logan mystery/thriller series–Flat Spin, Fangs Out, Voodoo Ridge, and The Three-Nine LineHot Start is a can’t-put-it-down page-turner that will leave audiences breathless. Critics from Booklist to Publisher’s Weekly to the Associated Press have hailed the series for its veracity and fine writing, vivid characters, generous dollops of humor, and the kind of pacing that keeps readers up at night.

Hot Start may well be the best yet.

Review:

Hot Start is an intriguing whodunit starring flight instructor and amateur sleuth Cordell Logan.  This fifth installment in David Freed’s fantastic series can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novels as well.

In the midst of a stretch of unseasonably hot and miserable temperatures, Cordell, at the behest of his former father in law Gil Carlisle, finds himself investigating the double homicide of big game hunter and safari charter owner Roy Hollister and his wife Toni.  Local police are convinced Carlisle’s nephew, animal rights activist and former military sniper Dino Birch, is responsible for the murders since he made no secret of his vehement dislike of Hollister.  While not fully convinced of Birch’s innocence but unable to say no to Carlisle’s request, Logan uncovers a troubling connection  between Hollister, local Congressman Pierce Lovell and an international call girl ring.  With a little help from good friend and former colleague Buzz, Logan follows the puzzling clues to Prague where he barely escapes with his life.  Once he is safely back in California, the sizzling hot weather is cooling down just as his investigation is heating up.  Under intense pressure from Washington to prevent a political scandal, Cordell’s life is soon in danger as he tries to fit the various pieces of the puzzle together before it is too late.

The summer heat is putting a dent in Logan’s efforts to keep his struggling flight instruction business afloat when Carlisle asks him to take a look at the case against Birch.  Unable to say no to his ex-father-in-law’s request, Cordell begins his investigation with a rather unhelpful jailhouse interview with Dino. While Birch’s vague answers do not exactly convince Logan of the activist’s innocence, he still owes it to Carlisle to continue looking into the case.  After discovering evidence the police overlooked immediately following the murders, he zeros in on the possible sniper’s nest but unfortunately, he finds damning evidence that points right back to Dino.

Still doggedly pursuing leads, Logan begins looking into Roy’s surprising connection to local politician Lovell. What he learns  then takes the case in a very unexpected direction so he turns to Buzz for help.  With his friend’s assistance, he travels to Prague for a meeting with Czech crime boss Emil Sokol whose business dealings tie him to both Hollister and Congressman Lovell.  After a rather unpleasant encounter with  some very  unsavory thugs, Logan’s meeting with Sokol reveals possible political corruption that Washington would prefer to keep under wraps.

Now under orders to take care of the situation before this information is leaked to the press, Logan returns to California where he continues his investigation.  Rumors about Toni begin to surface and Cordell turns his attention to Roy’s wife in hopes of uncovering a possible motive for the murders.  Is it possible the police have been looking at the case all wrong?  Instead of Roy being the killer’s target, could Toni have been who the murderer was after all along?  Interesting speculation, but will Logan find any evidence to back up this rather unlikely theory?

With plenty of twists and turns and snatches of unexpected humor, Hot Start is another fast-paced and entertaining addition to David Freed’s Cordell Logan Mystery series.  Logan is an intrepid sleuth who once again puts his formidable skills as a former covert government operator to work as he diligently investigates the double homicide.  A perplexing mystery with a vast pool of suspects and no clearly defined motive, the novel careens to a highly pulse-pounding, adrenaline filled conclusion.  An absolutely superb installment that mystery lovers are sure to love.

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Filed under Contemporary, Cordell Logan Mystery Series, David Freed, Hot Start, Mystery, Permanent Press, Rated B+, Review