This is the first novel in the popular Aikido Mystery Series. We meet Aikido Sensei Parker who is struggling to make ends meet now that the economy has tanked. He knows he's only a payday from disaster so he asks his old boss, (Fat) Albert Diamond to rehire him as a private investigator. "Sure," he says. "Why not?" and the chase is on.
Why? Because Parker won't wear a gun. He hates them, and that makes him very popular with the crazy celebrities that make movies about shooting 50 or 100 bad guys, but who personally feel that guns are bad. They're willing to pay double time to have Parker be their bodyguard.
Parker goes on assignment to protect Thadenzuela, a pair of Hollywood stars who are remaking the old martial art classic ABOVE THE FRAY. There have been threats and warnings not to do it, but they are determined. It doesn't take long for the guns to start blazing and the mystery to envelope the entire movie set.
Parker meets his new partner and can't believe his eyes. "Just go with it," says Fat Albert, "He's a goofball, but he's a stone cold killer." Parker doesn't believe him until the odd character pulls out the biggest gun that Parker has ever seen and begins blasting.
The mystery unfolds from coast to coast until Parker finally has to put himself on the line and the battle of the Aikido century begins.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.51(d)|
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Without preamble, I loved it. Is it the best mystery I ever read? No. But neither was Robert B. Parker's Godwolf Manuscript (Spenser #1). It is the introduction to the series, after all, and I believe we are in for a great ride. I see there are at least two more and I will be ordering them soon. And you don't need to be an Aikido master to enjoy it, but I'll bet it helps to know a little. I liked the main character for a number of reasons, but primarily his sense of humor and humanity. Being vulnerable is not a great virtue among heroes, but since Sam Spade, it seems to be okay to have a little tarnish on the old armor. Parker has tarnish, in, well, spades. More importantly, Linden seems to understand the genre. He already has a grasp of the intimacies necessary for a good mystery, for the soul searching that is so often missing in today's thrillers and mysteries... that certain 'Heart of Darkness' despair necessary for a great resolution... living through the fire, so to speak. He has it down cold and I predict a lot of fun and good mystery reading for everyone who takes a look. Aikido or not.