Saturday, February 9, 2008

Running Wrecked (Phil Riley) by Mark Combes

When Isla Tortuga dive shop owner Phil Riley discovers a sailboat that's left adrift he sets out to investigate. When he's beaten up he gets even more determined to get to the bottom of the case but when his young friend Chubby disappears and he suspect the bad guys of kidnapping him he really gets motivated. During his investigation we learn Phil's guilt-ridden reason of living on the island and Phil shows just how determined and tough he can be.
Phil is a true amateur detective but don't think we're getting into cozy territory or anything like that. There's too much action and hardboiled tone for that.
I found the pacing a bit on the slow side the first 60% of the novel, part of that might be a result of Riley's amateur status that doesn't allow the investigation to head off quickly. Fans of the Florida adventurer style (Doc Ford, Travis McGee, etc) will probably enjoy this novel, there's even a lot of Doc Ford references in it.

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