Book Review #29: He Ain’t Heavy by Dan Sawyer

a7b619844d70f88fed4c5f6d7bede1f542923cdc-thumbTitle: He Ain’t Heavy
Author: J. Daniel Sawyer
Publisher: AWP Mystery
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Available Formats: ebook and paperback
Rating: Adult content/language

Last summer, Mr. Sawyer asked me if I’d like an ARC/beta of his new Clarke Lantham novel. If you’ve been reading these reviews, I’m sure you understand that my answer was a wholehearted “YES”. He sent it over and I read it. This was late July early August. Then I wrote this review. In August. Mr. Sawyer asked me to sit on the review while he ironed out some of his other projects (like Crudrat, google it). Late last week, he contacted me to let me know that it was ready to go…

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Along came a spider and killed the insider…

According to the official story, Martin Galloway shot himself in front of two cops. But his bereaved fiancee smells a rat, and when the system fails her, she turns to Clarke Lantham Investigations to prove that Martin was murdered. At stake: the reputation of one of the world’s greatest humanitarians…and his twenty billion dollar estate.

Descending into a web of venture capitalists, patent trolls, security contractors, and evangelists, Lantham and his team must find a way through a world of loyalty and deceit more insidious, and closer to home, than any case so far…

…assuming he can survive the coma, and the arms dealer, and the drug kingpin who holds his life in the balance.

Setting: San Franciso. Mr. Sawyer’s love affair with his adopted home city continues to be a source of education and enjoyment. I believe this is the first of the Lantham books to provide us with a brief road trip as well, going down to visit Tiajuna.

Plot: Clarke Lantham is hired by the grieving fiancé of a silicon valley tycoon to uncover the real cause of his death, a death reported to be suicide. Clarke steps into the world of the victim, a world of devout Christians, hot tubs and big money and smells something that has the sweet stench of decay touching every aspect of the case. Will Clarke discover what really happened, or will he become simply another hot tub casualty?

Characters: Mr. Sawyer continues to develop the main characters in the Clarke Lantham series. While Clarke has had a pretty solid persona from book one, the intrepid duo of Rachel and Nya shine in He Ain’t Heavy”. Significant portions of the book are given to these young ladies, and rather than diminish the action, it only accelerates it. Rachel especially shows us that there are depths unplumbed.

Odin’s recommendation: Mr. Sawyer continues to impress with He Ain’t Heavy, and Clarke Lantham shows he earns his place with the Mike Hammers, Sam Spades and Dirk Gentlys on your bookshelf. If you prefer the smell of cordite, the sounds of highly tuned engines and a sarcastic voice in your head, get your credit card ready and go order He Ain’t Heavy.

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