Fangs Outby David Freed
Moments before he is executed, the killer of famed Vietnam War hero-pilot Hub Walker's daughter makes a startling allegation: the real murderer is Walker's close friend, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days hunting up information that will refute the convicted killer's groundless but widely reported claims, and help restore his friend's good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist and retired military assassin Cordell Logan. Thus begins one of the year's most suspenseful mystery-thrillers.
- The Permanent Press
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)
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Fangs out and ready for a dogfight, Cordell Logan switches from flight instructor and occasional quiet investigator to bulldog, wildcat, or eagle, determined to catch his prey. David Freed’s second Cordell Logan mystery brings back all the favorite characters so naturally even forgetful readers like me won't need to pause to remember their names. Savannah the ex-wife, Kiddiot the amazing cat, and the wonderful Mrs. Schmulowitz spread their influence over the story, even when off-stage, while Cordell’s determination to bring down bad guys can only grow stronger the moment his beloved plane is threatened. Okay, maybe someone’s threatening him too, but this is the Ruptured Duck, likewise a vital character in the tale. Cordell Logan has a convincingly told past where he’s worked and killed for his country. The reader quickly believes he's no stranger to danger. But he also has a present in which he struggles to pay bills, does the right thing even when the reasons are wrong, tries so hard to be a good Buddhist, and balances everything with wise-cracking humor, and cynical wisdom. The detective work’s convincing. The police procedures ring true. The violence has just the right mix of quiet desperation, furious action and desperate flight. And the flight scenes are filled with poetry and practicality, born of the author’s obvious love for planes and language. A rich man’s daughter died years ago but the murderer’s final words implicate someone else. The grieving father wants closure while the honorable flight instructor needs cash. And then the plot thickens. Seedy life-styles off the grid mesh with homes of the rich and famous in a complex web that keeps you guessing, changing your mind, and longing for resolution as more lives are threatened. Fast action and sharp dialog combine with convincing characters, locations and plot as another well-piloted mystery is brought deftly to land, leaving the reader both satisfied and eager for more. There are lots of dark mystery series out there, but David Freed's Cordell Logan mysteries shine bright with good will, good humor, vivid contrasts and, of course, flight. Disclosure: I was given a free bound galley of this novel by the publisher, the Permanent Press, in exchange for my honest review.
From its title, I was largely ambivalent and didn’t know what to expect from this new book by David Freed. So lest you have the same uncertainty, fear not, dear reader, and allow me to quote from its pages: “There’s an expression among fighter jocks that described what I was feeling, the adrenaline-fueled determination to close with the enemy and destroy him. They call it ‘Fangs out.’” Let me also assure you that what awaits you in those pages is a delightful, very enjoyable novel, which along the way will enlighten you with some obscure facts such as why vultures are bald. Cordell Logan (just “Logan” to one and all) is many things: broke, a self-described “Buddhist work in progress . . . striving to become one with the universe,” adding “I had a long way to go before attaining true enlightenment . . . How does a man prone to violence by nature and training embrace a religion that preaches peace above all else?”). A recovering alcoholic, he now runs a flight school as an instructor in his beloved 1973 Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, which looks like “a homeless person with wings,” and is still in love with his ex-wife who years ago had left him for his best friend. His past includes having played wide receiver for the Air Force Academy; later a National Security “go-to” guy (read “assassin”) whose job was “chasing bad people to the dark corners of the globe in the name of national security.” Logan is hired by Hub Walker, Lt. Col. USAF Retired, a “living legend” and “one of less than 100 living recipients of America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor,” whose daughter, a beautiful young woman who had been second in her class in Annapolis, had been murdered. The man convicted of her murder had just been put to death by lethal injection. The problem was that just before the sentence was carried out, he stated that the actual murderer was a close friend, whose integrity and reputation had suffered greatly as a result. Hub’s job? “Validating the innocence of a man falsely accused.” No easy task. Thoroughly entertaining, the book is recommended.
Well done sequel to Freed's first Logan mystery, Flat Spin. Can't wait for the next one!
The principal character is an offensive smart ass, and doesn't learn easily to stop offending people every time he opens mouth. However, he is highly intelligent and learns late in the story to control his mouth. ----- I am going to tesr another of Freed's novels. ------ LEONARD