Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir

Eleven months ago, Ray Quinn was a tough, quick-witted Orlando homicide detective at the top of his game–until a barrage of bullets ended his career…and his partner’s life.

Now medically retired with a painful handicap, Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner’s death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, Ray takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The pastor’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case–to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name.

Ray reluctantly pulls the threads of this supposedly dead-end case only to unravel a murder investigation so deep that it threatens to turn the Orlando political landscape upside down and transform old friends into new enemies. As Ray chases down leads and interrogates suspects, someone is watching his every move, someone determined to keep him from ever finding out the truth–at any cost. (From Amazon)

Ray Quinn used to be a homicide detective with the Orlando P.D. That is, until someone gunned him down, leaving him handicapped and at the same time killing his partner Trish. Trish wasn't just his partner on the force, she was his girlfriend too. Now unable to do the job he loved so much, he works as the night watchman at a plush condominium complex and spends his evenings with his roommate Jim (Beam that is). His new "partner" Crevis is an eager, easy to please police junkie ~ unable to pass the test to join the academy.

One a routine night at work, Ray is working on his Sudoku puzzle when a woman begs him to check on her pastor brother. She hasn't heard from him in a few days and is worried. When Ray and Pam enter her brothers apartment they discover the pastor along with a stripper dead from gunshot wounds. But is this really a case of murder-suicide or is something more sinister going on.

Pam begs Ray to look into the case. She knows deep in her heart that there is no way her brother committed this heinous act. At first Ray won't get involved, but the lure of doing detective work again, can't keep him away, especially after looking at the file and noticing that things aren't adding up. After being warned to "stay away" and brutally attacked, Ray is saved be Crevis (much to his surprise). Of course this just fuels Ray's desire to find out what really happened. Ray's digging leads him to the world of exotic dancers to the offices of elected officials. Along the way, Ray finds out information he just can't believe. Is it possible that this murder is related to his near fatal attack and the murder of the woman he loved? Is the information he's been given true ~ that there is a cop on the take? But the main question is ~ when Ray finds out who the killer is, will he seek the ultimate revenge he wants for Trish's death?

While the book is touted as Christian fiction, I didn't find that it overwhelmed the story or beat me over the head with it's message. The Night Watchman is a fast paced thriller written by someone who knows what they're talking about. It's a story of one man's struggle to deal with his past and look forward to his future. I eagerly await the next book in the series to see just what Ray and Crevis get into next.

1 comment:

Minding Spot said...

An award for you :)