Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Beneath the Amarillo Plains (Jeff Kale, Brain Damaged Detective) -- Henry Melton

How could I resist a book with a brain-damaged detective?  I couldn't, that's all.  And when there are storm sewers involved, as the cover clearly indicates, you know I'm in for the ride.

I've read quite a few of Henry Melton's books and reviewed them here on the blog.  All of them have been science-fiction.  Not this one.  It's a mystery novel, as the subtitle makes clear.  

Jeff Kale is fine when the story begins.  He's at a party with his friends, and even if he's not with the girl he wanted to be with, he at least has a pity date.  When his best friend, Hank Fisher, asks him to leave with him for mysterious reasons, Jeff agrees, and his date isn't reluctant to be left behind.  It's a good thing she didn't get in the car because someone runs Hank off the road, and the resulting accident isn't one of those that has no consequences for the main character.  As the title of the book lets you know, he's seriously injured.  His abilities to talk and comprehend are affected, and his rehab is painful and long.  He doesn't recover even by the end of the novel.

It's not that Jeff's intelligence is affected, however, and when he finds out that his best friend's girlfriend has mysteriously disappeared and that the "accident" was no accident, he decides to investigate.  He's helped out by the girl he took to the party, and what they discover is nothing like you might expect, and when a man is murdered, things get even more complicated.

Since Melton's a dedicated writer of series books, I have to wonder if this foray into the mystery field is the first of more stories about Jeff Kale.  The mystery is effective, the character are real and interesting, and it's all put together in entertaining prose, so I hope we'll be seeing more of Kale.

4 comments:

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I did the request thing back when you mentioned this before, but heard nothing more.

Bill Crider said...

Henry's probably off traveling. He'll respond, I'm sure.

Henry Melton said...

The perils of trusting automated alerts. Sorry I'm late getting the review copies out. I'll be watching the inputs closely now.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

As I just said privately to Henry upon getting his e-mail----absolutely no problem and thank you.