Author:    Carl Brookins

Publisher:    Brookins Books
ISBN-10:     0985390689
    ISBN-13: 978-0985390686

How appropriate that the Case Case should fall into the hands of Sean Sean searching for clues from the likes of Mordecai Marsh, Mike the Mole, and Armond Anderson.

To continue the alliterative trend, Brookins Books has now produced a detective story that draws upon every Runyanesque cliché imaginable: the prostitute with a heart of gold, another with a heart of some lesser element, and, of course, the Gal Friday who personifies everything that is good and noble in life. Guns are gats, five and ten dollar bills are fins and sawbucks, respectively, and I suspect that a db is a dead body.

Add auto ambushes, two, and a Perils of Pauline escape from the proverbial burning building and all the trappings of an old-fashioned detective yarn are there.

Devotees of this genre might be willing to overlook what this reader found to be real obstacles to engagement, much less enjoyment.

The plot line is slack, and, at times, confusing. Is Mordecai Marsh dead or alive, and do we care? Why would Sam Spade, sorry, Sean Sean take so long in opening the case, and why would his client suddenly express indifference as to its contents?

Tolerance for the text might be more forthcoming if it were edited with even a modicum of attention. Virtually every page is infested with a panoply of errors in vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. At one point, Jerry morphs into John without the slightest introduction of a new character. Authors who expect a reader to read their work should at least do them the courtesy of proofreading it at least once.

On the plus side, the author does have a knack for describing the underbelly of Twin Cities life colorfully, albeit with perhaps undue attention to the scents associated therewith.

Amidst all of this, the author manages to pull off a truly affecting and poignant accounting of his life with his true love. It makes the book (almost) worth reading.