A notorious, international big game hunter and his beautiful, former flight attendant wife are gunned down at long range late one sweltering summer night while swimming naked on their seaside estate in opulent Rancho Bonita, California. Police investigators are convinced that the killer is a strident, outspoken animal rights activist with both military experience and a criminal record. The evidence against him would appear overwhelming--until rumors begin to surface that others may have had their own reasons for committing murder.
The last thing flight instructor, aspiring Buddhist, and ex-government assassin Cordell Logan wants to do is become involved in the investigation. He and the accused, however, have mutual friends. Reluctant at first, Logan finds himself caught up in an increasingly confounding enigma, one that swirls around a popular Congressman with close ties to the White House, a European call girl ring, and a ruthless Czech crime boss who'll stop at nothing to protect his interests. Pursuing the truth will take Logan to places few others would dare go, exposing him to dangers that even he may not survive.
Along with its four predecessors in the Cordell Logan mystery/thriller series--Flat Spin, Fangs Out, Voodoo Ridge, and The Three-Nine Line--Hot Start is a can't-put-it-down page-turner that will leave audiences breathless. Critics from Booklist to Publisher's Weekly to the Associated Press have hailed the series for its veracity and fine writing, vivid characters, generous dollops of humor, and the kind of pacing that keeps readers up at night.
Hot Start may well be the best yet.
About the Author
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Cordell Logan is an aspiring Buddhist, pet project of a cat called Kiddiot, dweller in a converted garage, sleeper in hammocks in the summer’s heat, good friend to his ailing landlady, and an ex-military intelligence expert. He’s also the narrator and protagonist in author David Freed’s mystery series, which goes from strength to strength as each new novel is released. In Hot Start, it’s not just the weather or the engine that’s hot – not just California’s rich and beautiful either. But Logan splits his time between duties to his former father-in-law, care for his landlady, a possible love interest, and a need for truth and justice, all the while ignoring his own need for the cool balm of hope and a future. A California heatwave forms the backdrop to this tale, as Logan, divorced and bereaved in earlier novels, determines that flying in this heat would be a bad idea, while his clients insist that flying is what they’ve paid for. The turbulent air of their mistakes is mirrored in turbulent politics and policing of a murder case, where a big game hunter and his wife have been shot, and the man in jail insists he didn’t do it. The plot thickens like the overheated atmosphere as pages turn, throwing the reader in multiple directions. But Logan flies as consistently as his author writes, and these twists and turns all lead to a convincing if scary landing. The landlady might get her sandwich. Justice might be served. And the man who “spent nearly a decade stalking rabid human beings around the globe in the name of national security” might end up heading one more hunt. Hot Start takes readers from the US to Europe and back, leaving the gun behind because carrying heat in Europe’s not a good idea. The writing evokes vivid images of people and place, cool accent and dialog with well-timed touches of humor, and enticing cliff-hanger chapter endings that make the book impossible to put down. It’s a fast-action satisfying read, with the perfect combination of mystery and fear, greed and generosity, and good and evil. At the end of it all, there’s flying, in the smoother air of a cool and peaceful sky, with the wide embracing perspective of two miles high. Disclosure: I was given a preview edition by the publisher and I offer my honest review.