Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Bottom of Every Bottle -- Robert J. Randisi

Perfect Crimes Books is a new small press that's off to a fine start with a line-up that includes a new novel by Bob Randisi. I've known Bob for a long time. I still remember, though he probably doesn't, a hotel room at a long-ago Bouchercon where people were discussing the importance of punctuation. Bob said something like, "I don't know a lot about commas, but I know how to end a chapter." He did then, and he does now, as The Bottom of Every Bottle proves.

It's not a private-eye novel, but it operates the same way. Rob Gilmartin's a gunnery instructor in the army and had thought about making the military his career. Now he's not so sure. Then he gets a call from his mother, who tells him that his estranged father, Jake, a New York City cop, is in big trouble. Rob's reluctant to help his father, but takes some leave time. Before he can even leave town, however, someone tries to kill him, and we're off and running.

Jake Gilmartin's an honest cop who's been framed and suspended. Now someone's trying to kill him. Internal Affairs is after him, and so is everyone else, now that he's killed a cop. He has to stay in hiding, but Rob arrives, and he begins asking questions. Things get complicated when it appears that there's a conspiracy in the police department, and Rob doesn't know whom to trust, other than his father and a taxi driver named Angela. Eventually the chase leads outside New York, all the way to Alaska.

This is a fairly short book with no fat on its bones, and it never slows down. It would have made a good opener for a series of Gold Medal books, and in fact the ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel. Meanwhile, this one's plenty of fun. Check it out.


George said...

I'm in the middle of THE BOTTOM OF EVERY BOTTLE. I'm enjoying it as much as you did.

RJR said...

Thanks for the kind words.