Taking the Fifth, by J.A. Jance *****

takingthefifthJ.A. Jance has three series running. This one, with protagonist J.P. Beaumont as the detective who works the damp shadows of Seattle, is the best. All of the books in this series are really good, but this particular novel signals a sea change that will affect how the rest of the series plays out. It is also one of the most memorable (of 600+) mystery, detective, or thriller novels I have ever read.

Taking the Fifth has a strong flavor of noir, and J.P. Beaumont is one of the last of the really good guys. Jance weaves the reader through a brutal story involving the drug trade. You may put down this book once or twice just to wash your hands and rinse out your mouth. And yet, like the junkies in Seattle’s back alleys, you’ll be back for more. The author hits the ground running, and the ending is entirely believable, yet not obvious or expected.

If you haven’t read up to #4 in this series yet, you are running behind. If you are quick about it, you can get through the first three in time to read this one before October runs out. Get busy!

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