Die for Me, by Jack Lynch *****

dieformePeter Bragg, old-school detective, gets a visit from someone he used to know. She’s working as a psychic now, and the spirits are restless indeed. Not only does she see disquieting visions of dead people that haven’t been discovered yet, but she also sees a threat that is closer and more personal. She fears she may become a victim as well. Thanks go to Brash Books and Net Galley for permitting me to read this via DRC; originally written in the latter part of the 20th century, they are being re-released digitally now.

I confess that a few times, in reading this absorbing novel, my BS meter started ticking. This detective apparently has no income, yet he is spending plenty and refuses to bill Marianne, the psychic with the unsettling news. And as the hillside is combed by legions of cops, I wondered where the cadaver dogs are. Couldn’t they just bring them out to the site, once it is found, and let them sniff up the bodies?

But as I may have mentioned before (and before, and before), a really good writer can make me believe anything, and a lousy one can’t sell me a thing. And the fact is, Lynch is a good writer. So I set aside my snarky moment of disbelief and dove in to see where this story was headed.

Ultimately, there are a surprising number of unquiet spirits resting in the hills near Sonoma. Who could have a grudge against this many people? Is it possible Marianne is involved in it somehow? The suggestion that one person may have been the intended victim and the rest merely killed as window dressing is quickly laid to rest. That’s not it. And just wait till you see what’s behind it all!

Well my friends, the world is full of crazy folks. Fortunately, it’s also full of mystery and detective novel mavens. And as I gnawed voraciously at this episode in the Bragg series, I found myself wishing Lynch were still among us so he could introduce us to a few more fictional nut bars.

Sadly, he isn’t, and he can’t, but the good news is that you can get this one. If you love a good detective novel, you should snap up the whole series. It’s hard to put down once you begin! And it’s available in August. I’ll bet you could order it now. By the time it comes, it will be a surprise, one you gave yourself.

Are you still here? Go! Get this story. You’ll be glad you did.

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