Cliff Protzman. I was immediately drawn into this story full force when the main character Glenn Beckert gets a call that his friend Richie has been murdered at Z-rock, Richie's radio station. Beckert's security firm, Blue Water, provides security services for the radio station and his employee was on site when the murder occurred.
The setting is one of the main characters. I grew up around Pittsburgh and the sense of place and the landmarks and 'vibe' is absolutely spot on. There are numerous mentions of local landmarks and reading this book took me right back there.
The book is deftly plotted and definitely doesn't read like a debut novel in any way. The characterizations are well written and the dialogue is pitch perfect.
I would call it modern noir; gritty but also upbeat and surprisingly humorous. The secondary characters are vibrant and really well written, especially love interest Irene who is smart and beautiful and a good counterpoint for Beckert. The clues are all there in the narrative and the denouement is well paced, exciting and satisfying.
I'm really looking forward to more novels from this author.
321 pages, available in ebook and paperback formats.
Five stars, doesn't get better than this.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.