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Flat Spin (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #1)
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Flat Spin (A Cordell Logan Mystery #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  879 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
When flight instructor and former military assassin Cordell Logan gets a request from his ex-wife to help the police with their investigation of her current husband's murder, he gets caught up in a dangerous, far-flung investigation.
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published April 2012 by The Permanent Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Susan Anderson
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Noir without the Nasty

FLAT SPIN by David Freed is an amusing, exciting read, a who-done-it told by the main character, Cordell Logan, a flight instructor who can soar with the best of them. First and foremost, it is a fast-paced story, an attempt to catch a killer. But it is also about love and loss and the search for reconciliation in and around the mind of the hero.

Cordell Logan is down on his luck and asked to find the killer of Arlo Echevarria, Logan’s former boss and, earlier, his comrade
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Smoothly written with genuine humor, pitch-perfect dialog and absorbing authenticity, David Freed’s Flat Spin is a classic LA mystery with modern verve and style. The author’s expertise in his material is clear but never labored. He’s a journalist who shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Rodney King riots, he had an active security clearance from the DoD while reporting on Operation Desert Storm, and he’s a pilot with his own airplane, which makes the flight scenes vivid and enthralling. ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This book is actually the first book in the Cordell Logan series by David Freed, but it is the 3rd one that I've read. I just love the protagonist. He is so funny and usually does the opposite of what polite society would deem appropriate. I like that unexpected element. He is quite the cynic and therefore he speaks my language. I also like the other characters because they are quite lively as well.

The author can weave a creative plot. I've enjoyed his story lines. They are well thought out. I
3.5 stars for this private detective mystery. I liked this book on and off, parts were really good and full bodied and then it would go into a lull. The main character had some good humor and was interesting enough but I don't think I will continue on with the series. Ray Porter always does a fantastic job narrating.
August McLaughlin
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book full of wit, suspense, action and intriguing characters. At the risk of sounding cliche, I read the first few pages and struggled to put it down...

Particularly for a "break out" thriller, though Freed is experienced to boot, I'd put "Flat Spin" in the genius category. I've no doubt we'll hear much more of Cordell Logan. Can't wait.
Clay Stafford
Pulitzer Prize winning author David Freed’s first book about an ex-military assassin turned flight instructor is enough to make your head buzz. “Flat Spin” is a fast moving chase-em-down thriller with plot twists galore. I love the humor in the tense moments; reminds me of some of the best in the hard-boiled world. Wonderful writing, as one would expect from a journalist who has been shortlisted for numerous journalistic awards. I love the premise: find the killer of the man who stole your wife. ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, noir, audiobook
Cordell Logan, retired black ops agent, current flight instructor and budding Buddhist disciple. With a stack of bills to pay, sits expectantly at his desk phone waiting for clients to call about flight instruction. But his phone never rings. Enter the long divorced but still hot ex-wife, Savannah, asking him a favor to investigate the shooting of her currently dead husband, Arlo Echevarria. Arlo, was a fellow black ops agent and Logan's best friend until he stole Logan's wife. Well Cordell almo ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
“There’s an old maxim among warriors,” Flat Spin’s hero, Cordell Logan, informs us. “ ‘Trust me with your life, never your money or your wife.’ ” A former member of an elite black ops team, our protagonist was unfortunate enough to fall victim to this saying when his best friend and fellow soldier, Arlo Echevarria, stole his wife, Savannah. Now retired, Logan spends his days giving flying lessons to clueless college students and trying to scrape up enough money to pay the rent.

Things haven’t bee
Laureen Andrews
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This character, Cordell Logan, reminds me of Jack Reacher. He isn't as wealthy or unattached to owning belongings, but he is just as tough and loyal as Jack. I like this type of guy who still carries a torch for a former love, who thinks he's moved on, but really he hasn't. Logan's Buddhist aspirations are charming, especially when he quotes philosophy.

The audio book was narrated by Ray Porter and he does a fabulous job. His "airplane radio-speak" is flawless and I like when he does female voice
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The plot is riveting, the setting intriguing, but what captured me was this writer's amazing skill in creating characters you really come to love. Cord is the man of every woman's dreams: strong, funny, mysterious, but sensitive in spite of himself. Samantha is alluring and deep. Even Cord's wacky 80's-something landlady is utterly adorable and hilariously funny. I was captivated from Page 1.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Hey I enjoyed this book
Logan was a wisecracking guy trying to help his ex wife

I might read other one - it might be too much wisecracking if you read them too close together.

But I enjoyed it
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review of “Flat Spin” By David Freed

After you read this book, read the second in the series, "Fangs Out" David's writing has improved immensely.

An advance reader copy of the book was sent to me in electronic form by the author for review. I found none of the formatting or typographical errors that typically plague such advance copies.

The moral of this story is that one should not mess with friends of guys who used to do black ops.

What happens to special agents after they “retire” from doing “bla
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cordell Logan was a former covert operative for the classified governmental agency, Tier One Ultra, code-named Alpha. He's now a down on his luck owner of a flight school, Above The Clouds Aviation in Rancho Bonita, California. Living in a rented converted 2-car garage, barely staying one step ahead of the bill collectors, the only asset he has is an aging 1973 Cessna 172, aptly named the Ruptured Duck, and a fat cat named Kiddiot. His life is in a flat spin ... can it get any worse? Apparently ...more
Erin Garrett
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I was able to give half-stars, I might have given it 4.5, but went ahead with the 5 because it was so pleasant. Not going to win any writing awards, but truly an entertaining read.
I listed via audiobook, and the narrator was hands-down the best I've heard. He nailed the snarky, sharp wit of Cordell Logan and used inflection to realistically represent all other characters. Female, Russian, old, young, he hit them all on the head. I LOVED his style. The story was interesting, with a theme that
J.A. Beard
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

Cordell Logan left behind the shadowy world of black ops for a more sedate life as a flight instructor in California. When his ex-wife comes to ask him to look into her husband's mysterious murder, Logan is a bit conflicted. The murdered man is both an ex-compatriot from Logan's black ops days and the man responsible for Logan's wife becoming his ex-wife.


Good prose, it is often said, is invisible. For all the careful consideration of word choice and sentence structure that a wri
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
PROTAGONIST: Cordell Logan, flight instructor
SETTING: California

Cordell Logan is a flight instructor who is really struggling to make ends meet and can’t even afford to do the necessary maintenance on his small plane. Help comes from a most unlikely source. His ex-wife, Savannah, shows up to let him know that her second husband, Arlo Echevarria, has been murdered in Los Angeles. Cordell and Arlo served in an elite military unit together, but their relationship fell apart
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such an engaging, hilarious book, I had to look on Freed's website to see what else he has written. And was blown away that this is his first novel.

Rather than rehashing the events of the book (other reviewers have done that aplenty), I'll address the mechanics of the book. I'm not a pro, but I read a TON of books in this genre.

This book, I couldn't turn off. I experienced the very rare (while reading a book) sensation of laughter "bubbling up" and being unable to stop it. Freed does not tell a
Dan Roberts
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Freed's engaging protagonist, Cordell Logan, is retired from a secret government special ops group known only as Alpha. He now buys groceries and occasionally pays his rent by giving flying lessons in his Cessna 172, or did until his last student washed out. He's never gotten over his ex-wife Savannah, who was stolen by his former Alpha boss, Arlo Eschevarria. So he's not terribly disappointed to learn Eschevarria has met a violent end, nor does it bother him that the police have no suspec ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries/thrillers; people looking for a good read
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

I very much enjoyed this book. It was fast paced, but not so much so that I ever felt strained or uncomfortable with the speed in which things were unfolding. The author did a great job of balancing action with slower scenes, not that the plot ever stopped evolving--the breathers gave time for character relationships to strengthen and for the protagonist to puzzle through his situation.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the writing, and through th
Jackie Miller
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alright, here's another good Mystery novel! I'm not very good at solving the mystery in any book (or in Scooby Doo for that matter...) and this one was no different :)

The main thing that I found immensely appealing was Cordell Logan himself. His interactions are all dead-on and entertaining to read. His sharp wit and sarcasm permeate the dialogue and tone of the book. Logan is this ex-special-ops kind of guy, but he lives this minimalistic bachelor lifestyle. He doesn't flaunt his many physical
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
What a fun read!

Cordell Logan is an ex-military weapon, able to do what was necessary. Since retirement, he has used his skills as a pilot to open a flight school. Maybe not the most lucrative flight school but he could hope. When his ex-wife calls telling him her husband was murdered, he has a reason to smile. When she asks his help, he has no problem saying no. When he gets a $25,000 check from his ex-father-in-law, he says yes and goes to have a talk with the police. And his life gets real co
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
For former special ops, Cordell Logan is one funny guy. A wise-cracking, sarcastic flight instructor with a top-secret military past, Cordell is low on funds, divorced from the love of his life (the sexy but unfaithful Savannah), and living in a swanky California town with a cat not-so-affectionately named Kiddiot in the garage of a hilarious older Jewish woman. When Savannah's new husband is killed, Logan doesn't particularly care except that Arlo was also a former comrade-in-arms and Logan wil ...more
Lise McManus
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
won book in a goodreads giveaway. love reading new authors especially knowing that i can get in at the start of character development and look forward new books. since i tend to read so many books with covert govt agents i need an author to stand out from the rest so i don't confuse him with others. WELL THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE. totally new "cordell logan" the wise-cracking buddhist flight instructor with serious relationship issues. so much sarcasm interjected in the dialogue that by itself w ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This series was recommended to me and I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a highly entertaining LA noir story featuring Cordell Logan, a tough and sarcastic former black-ops member, and now a down-on-his-luck flight instructor. Filled with action and humor, I was sad when I came to the end of the story.

Roy Porter brought the book to life and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. For fans of Chris Jones and the Tex Murphy series, you may be reminded of Tex as you read/listen to parts o
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received an ARC of David Freed's debut novel through the First Reads program (thanks!). Former military assassin turned flight instructor, Cordell Logan gets caught up in the investigation of the murder of his ex-wife's husband . . . and there's a fire that's not quite out.

A guy who's nice to old ladies, Logan goes on a roller coaster ride from LA to Vegas, from black ops to the Russian mafia, all the while trying to maintain his fledgling Buddhist balance. Freed has created a character that k
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, humorous
WOW. This book is fantastic! Take Ace Atkin's Nick Travers series, throw in Carl Hiaasen's style with things falling apart with characters in his books, add in a father in law character like someone from a Dan Jenkins football book and you get Flat Spin. The book grabs you from the first page and never lets up. It is funny and yet the story has enough twists that you may not figure out exactly who the bad guys and good guys are. I can't believe this is the Author's first book in the series, but ...more
Andy Plonka
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kind of a stretch to get the murder victim linked to the main protagonist, but the book is extremely well written, with more than a little dry humor so the leap of faith is easily accepted. Also since the hero is a flight instructor, there is lots of information about flying small planes. What makes it special is the main protagonist admits there are serendipitous events and coincidences happening so you can almost believe him.
Sarah  Flood
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An impossibly funny mystery. Freed kept me guessing until the end as to who-dunnit and he did it with a flair and humor that I found unique. The relationship between Logan and his ex-wife is tense and the reader can feel the unresolved issues hanging over them. I look forward to more in the Cordell Logan series and can't wait to see what this cool, calm and collected guy can do...and if he can get the girl.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Goodreads Giveaway!
David Freed’s Flat Spin rivals Elmore Leonard in its pithy dialogue that vaults the reader actually experiencing the plot and characters.  A fun, fast read from beginning to end.  My interest never flagged…only interrupted by my amusement (or outright laughter) at the clever twists and quips.  Well done.  I’ll be back for more of Freed’s work.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cordell Logan's ex-wife's husband has been murdered, and Savannah (the ex) wants Logan to find the killer. Savannah's new husband is Logan's ex-best friend, an ex-covert operative with Logan back in the day. A good mystery with the extra über bonus of writing that was so charmingly clever that this is a protagonist that I will follow forever. Absolutely loved it!!
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David was born on an Air Force base in the Deep South, grew up the son of a cop along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and decided to give writing a shot soon after realizing that his grade point average would never get him into medical school. As an investigative journalist, most notably with the Los Angeles Times, he chronicled affairs of state, all manner of catastrophes, and the activit ...more
More about David Freed...

Other Books in the Series

A Cordell Logan Mystery (6 books)
  • Fangs Out (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #2)
  • Voodoo Ridge (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #3)
  • The Three-Nine Line (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #4)
  • Hot Start (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #5)
  • The Kill Circle (A Cordell Logan Mystery #6)
“Another five grand on top of the twenty-five large from Carlisle. I vowed not to tell Kiddiot. Knowing him, he would definitely demand I buy him more cat toys. The” 0 likes
“We studied e.e. cummings: Kisses are a better fate than wisdom.” 0 likes
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