The Off-Islander

Kensington. (Andy Roark, Bk. 1). Oct. 2019. 240p. 97814967233413. M
In Boston, 1982, Andy Roark knows just enough about being a private investigator to get into trouble. A Vietnam vet, he still suffers from nightmares that destroyed his last relationship. He became a cop but quit to become a PI, picking up books by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett to learn how a PI operated. His lawyer friend from Southie, Danny Sullivan, asks him to meet with an important client. Deborah Swift’s father, a Korean War veteran, walked out on the family when she was little. Now that her wealthy husband wants to run for political office, she hires Andy to find her father so that there will be no surprises during the campaign. One little clue leads Andy to Cape Cod and then Nantucket. Someone doesn’t want Andy on the case. He’s been shot at and pushed off a cliff.
VERDICT This atmospheric debut mystery details Massachusetts in the fall and a soldier’s life in Vietnam. And while there might be too many road signs and in-depth directions, Roark’s case should appeal to fans of the early works of Dennis Lehane and Robert B. Parker.

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