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Posted February 15, 2005
JAKE'S BURN is one of those books that you pick up and just know you are going to love in the first paragraphs. The writing is absolutely wonderful. Mr. Rawls' humor and wit shows through in the first chapter, and continues to pull you in as you turn the pages. The more you read the better it gets. Arthur Conan Edwards, otherwise known as Ace, is a P.I. in Dallas, Texas. Ace used to be a cop, but thought that he could make more money as a private detective. And so after a divorce from his college sweetheart, he retired from the Dallas police force and used his small retirement to open up a one-man detective agency. His main source of income consists of chasing around errant spouses and getting the goods on them for divorce cases. Not much money, however it does pay the bills......... somewhat. A case Ace handled three years prior involved a multimillionaire, (sort of) friend of his, Jake Adams, from his hometown of Cisco. Jake needed the goods on his wife, Sheila, to hopefully cut down on the amount of money he would have to pay her in their divorce. However even with Ace's help Sheila managed to get the one and only thing Jake loved the most, even more than all the money he had. She got the house. The house that Jake himself had designed and built. Three years later, the phone rings in the middle of the night. It is Jake. It seems someone burned his, or rather Sheila's, house down and he wants Ace to find out who did it. Ace isn't that interested in getting involved with the whole thing at all. However, when Jake offers to pay him enough money to pay off all of his outstanding bills, and set him up for a while, how can Ace turn the guy down. So it is off to Cisco he goes. Ace hasn't been in town long when he discovers that there were two people killed in the fire. One of them has to be Sheila. But who is the other one? And which one was the killer after? Although having had been raised in Cisco, Ace isn't finding it very easy to be accepted back, or having much luck getting answers from the people who knew Sheila. However one guy finally decides he can trust Ace, and agrees to help him in anyway he can. Bubba is totally grief stricken at the thought that Sheila has been killed. He was totally, and completely in love with her. In fact Bubba was the reason for Sheila divorcing Jake in the first place. Bubba decides that he will hire Ace to find Sheila's killer. Ace tries to explain to Bubba that he is already working for Jake, and cannot work for both of them. Bubba is completely devastated, and besides he doesn't seem to have all his oars in the water anyway, and doesn't seem to either understand, or want it that way. After arguing the point for some time, Ace finally gives in and tells Bubba he will work for both him and Jake. However, it looks like someone is not about to let Ace find out who burned down Jake's house, or who killed Sheila, and the other victim, or why. Things turn from bad to nasty. And then it gets even worse. Murder, threats of murder, and threats of physical harm seem to fly. But it is still difficult to figure out just who is the target of all of these threats. Whoever is that target, Ace always seems to be in at the center of it. In the middle of this entire mess Ace falls in love. Head over heels, madly in love. All of this is being closely observed by a couple of curious, cantankerous felines who are Ace's confidants. Sometimes Ace finds he needs to talk things over, and Striker and Sweeper make a good audience. I'm not sure that either of them really cares, but they do seem to help Ace work out things, nonetheless. JAKE'S BURN is fantastic. The writing is smooth, full of tongue in cheek humor, as well as lightening fast suspense. All told from Jake's point of view. JAKE'S BURN is full of action, adventure, love, and murder, all intertwined with the wittiest humor you can imagine. Mr. Rawls will have you sitting on the edge of your chair one minute, and the next rollinWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2004
In Dallas, former police officer turned private sleuth Arthur Conan ¿Ace¿ Edwards ekes out a living to complement his retirement pay mostly finding information on cheating spouses. Three years ago, Ace worked a case for a client from his hometown, multimillionaire Jake Adams, seeking proof that his wife, Sheila was cheating on him so that he would pay less in alimony and most likely keep the home he designed. Ace succeeded, but Jake lost the house to Sheila anyway.<P> Jake wants to hire Ace to investigate who burned down ¿his¿ home. Though he would prefer to stay away from Cisco, Ace accepts because the fee will pay off his outstanding debts. Ace immediately learns two people died in the fire. He assumes Sheila is one, but has no idea whom the other is. Though local, townsfolk treat Ace like an outsider refusing to cooperate with him; except for Bubba, who loved Sheila and was the cause of the divorce. As Ace continues his inquiries for a conflict of interest pair of clients (Bubba vs. Jake) and falls in love, someone tries to ace the sleuth whose only allies are his two cats.<P> Fans of private sleuth tales will appreciate the fabulous JAKE¿S BURN that proves one cannot go home even to his own home. The action-packed story line with a wicked sense of humor engages the audience from the moment Jake rehires a reluctant Ace to look into deadly arson until the final brawls. A sidebar romance humanizes the hero who proves to be an ace of a detective and readers will demand further adventures of this charismatic hero.<P> Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.