Sunday, August 23, 2015

Don't Lose Her: Jonathon King


US district judge Diane Manchester is eight months pregnant and presiding over the extraditon trial of a Colombian drug lord. Before she calls recess for lunch, he taunts her, almost implying that she will suffer if the verdict doesn't go his way. When she takes a break for lunch, she is abducted, quickly and efficiently.

Unfortunately for her captors, Max Freeman, South Florida private investigator, is employed by her husband, Billy Manchester, a litigator with connections in law enforcement agencies and beyond. Max and Billy are very good friends, and Max is ready to do anything necessary to find her and her abductors.  They are not sure if members of the drug cartel are responsible. A judge can have many enemies.

Don't Lose Her is the 7th Max Freeman mystery, but the first I have read. I was surprised I liked it so much, given that it really isn't the type of mystery I would normally choose. It tends toward the thrillerish and has a bit more action than I go for.

The story was told from different viewpoints and that is well done. Max tells of his investigation in first person narrative, but we also get the perspective of one of the kidnapping crew and the victim herself. All three of these add an emotional component. Max is very concerned about Diane and knows how his friend Billy is suffering; Diane is primarily concerned about her unborn baby and how she will be treated.

Jonathon King's books are set in South Florida. This one starts out in West Palm Beach, Florida, and ends up in the Everglades. Fortunately Max knows the Everglades well. I liked that the ending was realistic, not over the top. Some events at the end were a tad predictable, but I enjoyed the journey. I intend to try more Max Freeman novels, and especially the first one, The Blue Edge of Midnight, which won the Edgar for best first novel. However, I had no problem getting into this seventh entry in the series without having read previous books. It can easily stand alone.

Some background on the author from his website:
Edgar-award winning author Jonathon King is the creator of the Max Freeman crime series set in the Everglades and on the hard streets of urban South Florida. In his previous career as a journalist, he was a police and court reporter for 24 years with the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Philadelphia Daily News
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Publisher:   Open Road Media, 2015
Length:       262 pages
Format:      e-book
Series:       Max Freeman, #7
Setting:      South Florida, Everglades
Genre:       Thriller
Source:      Provided by the publisher for review via NetGalley

14 comments:

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one Tracy. I think I've read the first in the series a few years ago. I intend to get back to this author at some point - time allowing! I like the setting with the Everglades.

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    1. The setting in Florida and the Everglades is interesting, Col. I haven't read much set there. Except for the Travis McGee series, and that has been a while.

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  2. I'm not normally one for this kind of thriller either, Tracy. But I do like the setting. And it sounds as though there's some solid character development here, too, which is a 'plus' for me.

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    1. Margot, this one kept the thriller level just about where I like it, not too violent, and with a realistic ending.

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  3. TracyK: It sounds interesting but I am way way too backed up to read at this time. I was avoiding bookstores and then on Saturday was walking by one and saw a sidewalk sale and now I have another book.

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    1. I understand, Bill, I really am trying to cut back on adding new authors or books too, especially with the big sale coming where I will buy more than I should. I did the same thing at a bookstore this weekend, but it was a book I had been planning to buy for a while.

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  4. If I hadn't read your review I could easily resist this one, but you do make it sound appealing! I think I'll hope I don't come across it anywhere....

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    1. I was lucky to run into this one, Moira, the right story and pacing for me at the right time. Not much focus on the clothing though.

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  5. I have enjoyed visiting and browsing through your fine blog, and I've found a lot of great names and titles to add to my "must read" list. Thanks! Now, though, may I be bold enough to change the subject and invite you to visit my blog? I am a retired federal government court reporter and paralegal, and I am an avid reader and reviewer of crime, detective, mystery, espionage, and historical fiction; the new edition of my blog, "Crimes in the Library," is where you will able to find regularly posted book reviews and commentary. Here is the address: http://crimesinthelibrary.blogspot.com/ I hope you will stop by and comment often. Thanks, Harper

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    1. Thanks, Harper, and thanks for the invitation.

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  6. Thanks for this. Sounds interesting. I've just put in a library request for this one, having never heard of this author or series. Maybe he'll become a new favorite author!

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    1. I do hope you enjoy the book, Howard.

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  7. Thanks TracyK - like you, I'm not necessarily into modern thrillers with lots of action (I usually tend to find action hard to follow in books unless they are really well written and so get bored) - glad to hear this is a cut above!

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    1. Sergio, I think getting the story from three points of view helped a lot from my perspective. It worked for me.

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