Flat Spin by David Freed
Flat SpinCordell Logan is surprised when his ex-wife visits him. Savannah’s second husband, Arlo Echevarria, was murdered in his home. Logan resented Echevarria for stealing his wife, so he isn’t overly sympathetic.
Logan is a struggling flight instructor. He has seen better times in the past. He has kept his Cessna although he’s lost almost everything else. He would rather fly than drive or practically anything else. His last student has just quit. He is behind on his hanger rent. He lives in a converted garage. And he still yearns for his ex-wife and resents his old comrade-in-arms. Savannah wants Logan to go to the police and reveal the men’s secret past that she suspects but can’t prove. He refuses.
But Savannah’s father convinces Logan to talk to LAPD after all. They don’t believe his story, but once they understand he is Savannah’s first husband, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Now Logan gets involved. Soon he has Echevarria’s past and present mixed together. Is Logan now a target because of their shared past? Or did someone firebomb his home because he’s sticking his nose in now?
David Freed has created smart aleck amateur detective that appeals to the reader in Flat Spin. Logan is ex-Special Forces, down on his luck, and still making wise cracks to relieve the tension. His flying is what keeps him grounded (yes, that was intentional). Freed is a small plane pilot, so the scenes in the air feel real.
Flat Spin has the appeal of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series – a man who can be tough and yet not take too much seriously. Logan still has unresolved issues with Savannah that run throughout the book, leaving an opening to continue in the next book, Fangs Out. Don’t let the scary cover fool you, Flat Spin isn’t gory suspense or a creepy thriller.
Instead, Flat Spin is a good mystery that keeps the reader’s attention. The astute mystery reader will probably figure out the main bad guy, yet the threads to implicate the person are hidden away.
Freed added one other character that I couldn’t resist. Logan’s cat’s name is Kiddiot. I laughed out loud – and may decide to name my next cat that.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong language