Wrong Light

Matt Coyle Ocean­view Pub­lish­ing (DE­CEM­BER) Soft­cover $16 (352pp), 978-1-60809-329-8

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Fiction - JOHN M. MUR­RAY

Matt Coyle’s grip­ping noir novel Wrong Light show­cases a world-weary PI bat­tling old ad­ver­saries in a com­pli­cated femme fa­tale case.

Re­tired cop turned pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Rick Cahill’s new­est case seems easy enough at first: find and stop night­time ra­dio host Naomi Hen­drix’s stalker, who is wait­ing to en­act a bizarre re­venge fan­tasy. Cahill’s in­tu­ition flares up; he sus­pects Naomi is hid­ing a painful past.

His ini­tial at­tempts to dig up the truth only put more in­no­cents in dan­ger. Be­fore he can make any head­way re­gard­ing Naomi’s stalker, Cahill be­comes swept up in a hunt for a se­rial killer and a black-mar­ket stem cell scam. The Rus­sian mob com­pli­cates mat­ters by call­ing in a fa­vor that’s ac­tu­ally a setup.

An ab­ducted wit­ness and the prime sus­pect are found dead, leav­ing Cahill no closer to solv­ing the orig­i­nal stalker case. The Rus­sians’ machi­na­tions reach a fa­tal con­clu­sion. Cahill faces los­ing ev­ery­thing.

Cahill is the least sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ter in this in­stall­ment. His fail­ures, and the dark­ness of his job, be­gin to wear him down, and the means by which he rights the wrongs be­come in­creas­ingly morally sus­pect. He of­ten acts be­fore fully re­al­iz­ing the con­se­quences of his ac­tions, lead­ing to tense mo­ments—and per­haps too many deaths.

Sur­pris­ing and com­pli­cated ques­tions are raised. The de­tec­tive is con­stantly on the move through this well-paced thriller, mak­ing mis­takes and strug­gling to glean in­for­ma­tion and in­sights.

This fifth book in the Rick Cahill se­ries builds upon pre­vi­ous story lines won­der­fully. Its emo­tional con­clu­sion re­wards long­time read­ers but will be emo­tional for new­com­ers as well.

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