The Blue Cheer (P.I. Frank Johnson, #3)
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The Blue Cheer (The P.I. Frank Johnson Mystery Series #3)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  35 reviews
P.I. Frank Johnson has moved to Scarab, West Virginia, drawn by the promise of lazy days and the lure of its tranquil mountains. What he finds instead is a Stinger rocket exploding over his back yard.

His ensuing investigation uncovers a cult called the Blue Cheer, a racist group with ugly terrorist plans. As events heat up, blood starts to spill, and for Frank it all gets...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published April 30th 2007 by Point Blank/Wildside Press
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ღ Carol jinx~☆~
PI Frank Johnson moved to Scarab West VA. to live in a nice little cabin in the mountains. Unfortunately, he sees a Stinger missile go off in the forest and from there, well the plot thickens and it's just pure excitement. This book was so intense, I couldn't put it down. I had to find out what was going to happen. I stayed up all night reading. It is well worth the time. Thank you Ed! Now I have to find your other books.
John Gaynard
This was the first of Ed. Lynskey's books I have had the chance to read, and I really liked it, to the point where I have now begun to read his latest offering, Ask the Dice. What drew me to The Blue Cheer, in the first instance, was the Appalachian setting and the promise that it carried at least a few sentences about bluegrass music. I wasn't disappointed.

Lynskey's black Irish Private Investigator Frank Johnson, suffering from burnout and depression, has been drawn to the relatively simple way...more
All Frank Johnson wants is a little peace. But he won't find it in Scarab, the small Appalachian town where something terrifying is going on with a group calling themselves The Blue Cheer. When Frank sees some strange fireworks in the night and begins to investigate, the game is afoot. Frank's buddy "Old Man" Maddox lends a hand, and soon the bodies begin to drop.

Like any good detective Frank takes a few lumps along the way: he tangles with a corrupt lawman and gets treated to a tour of Scarab'...more
Frank Johnson left his home in Pelham, Virginia, for what he hoped would be the serenity of Scarab, West Virginia. A cabin in the woods; living a more naturally. What he finds instead is Stinger missiles, walking fish insignias and t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

When Jan Maddox, the wife of his only friend in West Virginia is found brutally murdered shortly after Johnson witnesses a Stinger missile being fired, he finds it's too much of a coincidence for the two events not to be related. He and Old Man Maddox s...more
The title, which comes from a sixties band, refers to a raciest cult that runs counter to most cults in that it’s militantly anti-religious. The Blue Cheer perpetrates hate crimes in the mountains of West Virginia, but Frank Johnson, a some time depressive, ex-master technician and recluse doesn’t know this when he moves there. Johnson doesn’t suffer fools gladly, especially a small town deputy who enjoys throwing around his weight. Johnson’s buddy (a black Vietnam Vet) and his wife become targe...more
This is the third book in the Frank Johnson series, but Ed Lynskey kept references to previous events in the other books to a minimum, so it can stand on its own. And stand it does! Written in the first person, the style is reminiscent of the 40's-60's tough guy private eyes like Mike Hammer and Shell Scott, although Frank lacks their cynicism and sardonic wit. Also missing are the beautiful ladies who are just waiting for the chance to fall into his arms. He's good in the rough and tumble, exud...more
Thanks to interlibrary loan, I was able to get a copy of this book by my Goodreads friend, Ed Lynskey. I really liked it! His hero, Frank Johnson is a likable character, but I'm not sure that I would like to be around him since so much activity and violence occur. It is fine to participate vicariously though. Old Man Maddox is a great sidekick type and the West Virginia rednecks spawn some good bad guys. I thought that Ed had forgotten about Frank's convict cousin as I approached the ending, but...more
Frank Johnson retired to West Virginia and was settling in for a tranquil life until a Stinger rocket took out a drone over his place. Frank went to investigate, but he had barely picked up the rocket casing when someone knocked him out and made off with it. Since the local police refused to believe his report, Frank decided to investigate on his own only to be drawn into the intrigue of a murderous local, racist cult that everybody seems to deny.
This is a fast moving story that is hard to put...more
Carol Lynne
This was a quick read (all in one day) with well fleshed out, likable characters. I haven't read either of the two previous books in the series, but now I'm tempted. The story line wasn't my favorite-racist atheists who are responsible for a goodly portion of the action and a subplot involving his cousin, but I did like the main character.
Ed asked me to be a friend on Good Reads. So I checked this book out of the library for curiosity.
It was pretty good. I liked the topic and the characters. Though some of the descriptions got in the way, so I skimmed them. (I'm much more a story person than a detail person.)
So, now I've read a book by my new friend Ed Lynskey.

fast- paced, interesting complex plot, intriguing main character, reminded me of "old time" detective stories, "just the facts, m'am" type. at the risk of appearing feminist, this seemed more of a "man's book," but i would read another. i do not want to visit wild and wonderful west virginia anytime soon!
Peggy Jeffcoat
Good job, Ed! You have an eye for detail and I loved your descriptions and observations of nature. I think this book might appeal more to men than women. I've put in a request for another book of yours.
Great plot, Ed! This is the first of your books that I've read. I'd like to see Frank develop further; he's an interesting guy.
Appalachian noir. Mountains of West Virginia. I think I'd read others, but I was expecting to like it more than I did.
This detective novel focuses on a secret racist group with
terrorist plans...moves fast, has well-drawn characters.
Stephen Gallup
When I first heard, some years ago, that Ed Lynskey had written a detective story involving illicit use of Stinger shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, I knew I'd have to read it. Like Lynskey, I have Stingers in my past (on the production end, that is -- never fired one and do hope never to be targeted by one). Because of that, the idea of someone using that weapon to take down civilian aircraft disturbs me doubly.

Turns out that Stingers are more or less incidental to the action here, which ce...more
Mar 02, 2010 KarenC rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my husband
Recommended to KarenC by: Ed Lynskey

I agree with others - an old-style hardboiled detective novel. But with new twists - a Stinger missile; militia types; racist, anti-religion terrorists. Despite some irritating aspects, the main plot and Frank Johnson lured me into this book during a lull in availability of more current bestsellers at the library.

Initially I found the writing style very interesting, a surprising contrast to the personality of the main character. The tone of the prose was unexpected in a novel that otherwise app

Shonna Froebel
The main character in this thriller is Frank Johnson, a Virginia private investigator who has recently moved to a cabin in the woods in West Virginia, trying to make a break with his past. He is befriended by Old Man Maddox, a retired CIA man. Maddox and his paraplegic wife Jan are Frank's nearest neighbours, and live over the ridge from him. When Frank sees a Stinger rocket take down a drone one evening over the woods near him, he calls on Maddox to help investigate. Frank ends up targeted for...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book started off very exciting - I was immediately hooked and devouring it.

Somewhere just before the middle section started, this enjoyment waned. This was partly due to a plot point (no spoilers) and a lot due to the storytelling just becoming very stretched out. The whole middle of the book could have been so much tighter - the plot didn't need all that room to breathe and the pace before the slowdown had been excellent and quick. Perhaps Lynskey was trying to make a certain page count?

Jul 01, 2010 Eldon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: brewers & distillers
Shelves: read-2010, read-2010s
I really wanted to like this more than I did but the characters and the story didn't pull me in. Came close but never really hooked me. Maybe it was because I broke my cardinal rule, "Begin a series at the beginning." But unfortunately this is the only book by Ed Lynskey in my regional library system. Maybe if I had read the first two installments I would relate better to Mr. Johnson. Maybe if the alcohol consumption wasn't such a competitor for the main character position. Maybe if I had read t...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Maskus
This book is set in the West Virginia mountains amid the rugged terrain and unyielding weather. The Blue Cheer is a group of vicious men out for revenge. The group combines the Klan with terrorists against religion. The writing brings to mind CJ Box and Lisa Jackson's Chosen to Die. The friendship between Old Man and Frank is interesting. Emotion seems to be scanty in many of the scenes. This is a man's novel, and the women characters are very few, and undeveloped. Jan, Old Man's wife, is the fi...more
I did think this was very well written, interesting and complex. It was a very dark plot for me though and I don't think I shall ever visit W. Virginia.
Apr 25, 2014 Still rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lee Childs' "Jack Reacher" fans.
Recommended to Still by: I hold myself responsible

Action-packed mystery that I had a bit of a problem following in places.
Interesting twists I didn't see coming. Had to do the occasional reading back a few pages to completely follow certain events.
Satisfying wrap-up that ties together the various mysteries as to who killed who and why.
Enjoyable read.

Especially nice to read knowledgeable comments regarding particular well-known to nigh-obscure Bluegrass music artists.

By the way- the copy I own is not the one that is pictured above.
A truly enjoyable mystery that grabs you right from the beginning. I loved the characters and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Frank Johnson series and finding out what drove Frank to leave Pelham behind for this mountain "vacation".
I wanted to like this, but the writing is really sloppy. Lynsky is so intent on hitting the high points of his odd, lopsided plot that he has no time for character development or anything more than the most perfunctory gestures towards creating a believable setting.
It took me awhile to get into the "tone" of the book but on the whole I enjoyed it. I would definitely try another book by this author if my library had one.
Michele bookloverforever
I love the main character. I loved the peripheral characters too. will read more if I can find them.
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Ed Lynskey writes crime fiction and is the author of the P.I. Frank Johnson Mystery Series and the Isabel and Alma Trumbo Cozy Mystery Series.

Twitter: @edlynskey

More information:

I have published 14 novels and short story collections. Here's a brief overview.

1. Smoking on Mount Rushmore is my short story collection of the best stories I published over the past decade.

More about Ed Lynskey...
Lake Charles Ask The Dice The Dirt-Brown Derby Pelham Fell Here (P.I. Frank Johnson, #1) Quiet Anchorage

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“Shouldering the duffel bag with the Marine Corps bulldog, Old Man knocked Jan's photo off the bed table. He turned to stone staring down at the photo. His face then splintered into hurt. Tears seeped into his eyes. He grappled for the nearest bedpost and slumped forward on extended arms. His shoulders jerked and head sagged a little while his heart broke. Old Man cried the mute cry of men of his generation.” 2 likes
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