RIGGED, Jake Longly #4
Coming May 19,2020 from Oceanview Publishing.
Pre-order your copy now.
First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope. Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. But, when Emily doesn’t appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake’s radar goes on high alert. When her body, along with that of Jason, one of two guys she has been dating, are found murdered, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray and the pursuit begins. Who would have done this? The soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi, the other guy Emily is seeing—jealousy being a motive for harm, or do the drugs found in Jason’s pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed.
In Lyle’s fast, fun fourth Jake Longly thriller (after 2019’s Sunshine State), Longly describes himself as an “ex–major league baseball stud, restaurateur, defender of frivolous lawsuits, lover of women, well, one in particular, and for sure a world-class avoider of work.” He reluctantly helps out at his father’s Alabama PI firm, where his girlfriend, Nicole Jamison, and his best friend, Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers, work as operatives. Pancake is assigned to the financial side of the divorce of a woman he last saw in grade school, Emily Patterson. He’s looking forward to meeting Emily again, but she fails to turn up for their appointment and is later found murdered, along with her friend Jason Collins. Drugs found in Jason’s pocket and the gangland-style killings lead the local police chief to suspect a turf war between rival dealers. Emily’s brother hires the Longly team to bring her killer to justice. The characters are fresh and well-defined, but it’s Jake’s snappy patter and amusing riffs, often focusing on his monumentally annoying ex-wife, that drive the narrative to its Glock-blazing conclusion. This series just keeps getting better.
D. P. Lyle has once again written a plot that keeps Longly fans and all thriller readers on the edge of their seats. Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers is like most people in the world. He had a first-love back in his day, 6th grade to be exact, and has never forgotten sharing his first kiss with her all those years ago. Also like most people in this world, Pancake never really assumed that he’d see Emily, his childhood sweetheart, after they’d grown up.
Now, however, Emily is headed for a divorce. Living in the “artsy” town of Fairhope, Alabama, she’s in the midst of leaving her husband and embarking on a new future. Longly Investigations is charged with researching all the financial aspects of the couple that will be involved.
A dark cloud of worry forms, however, when Emily doesn’t appear for the meeting that was set up with Longly. Things go from nervous to nightmarish when her body, along with the body of Jason— one of the two men she’s been dating—are found murdered. They have been executed, and Pancake immediately calls in Jake, Nicole and Ray for help.
Pancake is determined to find justice for the woman who once stole his heart when they were only kids, but as the investigation moves forward more suspects and motives seem to come out of the woodwork. From a man who will soon be Emily’s ex who just happens to have an alibi that would stand up in any court; to a boyfriend who could very well have been jealous over Emily dating him and Jason at the same time and wanted to get revenge—the possibilities of why she was killed quickly add up.
It’s the truth that readers will love to sink their teeth into this one.
The plot is fantastic, the action is fast, and Pancake steals the heart.
Jake Longly is the Bartleby of detectives: he’d prefer not to. Who can blame him? He’s living the sweet life, owning a Gulf Coast bar/restaurant and dallying with the luscious Nicole, who, he mock-laments, is insatiable. Plus, his father is a real PI who occasionally pulls Jake into snoop work, though this time it’s an investigation by Jake’s buddy, Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. The nickname comes from his time as a high-school footballer, when he left opponents flattened like pancakes. Pancake is looking into the finances in a divorce involving his grade-school love, Emily, and he yearns to rekindle the spark. Too bad Emily is murdered before that can happen. Heartbroken, he asks Jake to catch the killer. Their poking about uncovers a shadow world of drugs and violence, and Lyle writes about it in a stripped-down style with nice, low-key touches. Afternoon melts “toward evening, the shadows long and muted.” There’s nothing low-key, though, about Nicole when fight time comes. Her clash with the villains is worth the price of admission.