Leslie's Reviews > The Dead Detective

The Dead Detective by William Heffernan
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's review
May 30, 2011

liked it

Heffernan's got a winner in Harry Doyle, the laconic detective who was murdered by his mother as a child. Yep, dead. But Harry's no ghost; he was brought back to life by the police officers who responded to a neighbor's call for help.

In Harry's debut, he has to solve the murder of a child-molesting teacher who's free on parole. While the murderer is fairly obvious, Heffernan keeps things lively with several potential suspects, a good noir tone, and likable characters interacting realistically. The lovingly detailed Pinellas and Hillsborough County, Florida settings are a big attraction, too - especially for readers familiar with the area.

The only real drawback is the simple plot and less-than-professional editing. It's a real turnoff to be stopped in one's reading tracks by an inappropriate homonym or typo that should have been caught by the editor. Unfortunately, this is happening more and more in all levels of publishing - even the big houses.

Here's hoping the cliffhanger at the end from harry's personal life leads to a second book - fans of modern noir could use some more beach reads this summer.

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