This is the debut novel from author John McMahon and the debut of the character Detective P.T. Marsh. He is one of the best characters to come along in years in any book I have read (and I have real a lot of books the last few years). P.T. has a lot of issues stemming from losing his wife and 8 year old son a year ago in a car accident (that may not have been an accident). His drinking has been out of control as his grieve makes him restless and sloppy. He has a new rookie partner at work name Remy who helps keep him somewhat sane.
When he agrees to help a stripper deal with her abusive boyfriend it puts him in the middle of a murder scene that he can’t admit to being at. He roughed the guy up but left him alive. The next morning Virgil Rowe is found dead right after the time he left. And his stripper girlfriend could identify him. Lucky for him he’s able to give her a story and cover his ass. Then he and Remy find a dead body of a young 15 year old boy named Kendrick hanged. He had been part of a BOLO alert days before.
Now the digging into the case begins big time and he wonders if there’s a connection between Virgil and Kendrick and there deaths. And then the media is on top of this as well. As P.T. investigates he comes across a conspiracy that dates back to the Civil War times. Every 25 years The Order kills two black children. When world arrives a 15 year old girl is missing this is the second one as part of the murders. P.T. and Remy get information as to where she might be. But every-time they have a lead someone seems to be one-step ahead of them. P.T. thinks there’s a mole in the department and soon makes a shocking discovery. Will they be able to save the girl before it’s too late and also reveal the mole and P.T. save his job? It leads to a shocking climax and the tables being turned on someone.
This is one of the better debut novels I have read in years. The character of P.T. like I said above is great. The additional characters and setting make for a fine story with twists and turns you don’t see coming. You root for P.T. big time to be able to overcome his demons and sorrow and be able to move on. Not sure if this is going to be a series of books or it’s a one off. Me personally would love to have more time with P.T. and his awesome dog Purvis.
Author John McMahon is one to watch in the coming years!
You can pickup The Good Detective in stores on Tuesday, March 19 from Putnam.