I’m pleased to be participating in a blog tour to help support the growing indie author market and share new and upcoming authors from a variety of genre. When I’m not reading or writing historical fiction, I do indulge in the occasional crime novel. Desmond P. Ryan’s series is one I’m happy to have brought to my attention. More on my review later. Here’s a bit about Death Before Coffee.
About the Story
By 2:27 on a Thursday afternoon, the one-legged man from Room 8 at 147 Loxitor Avenue has been beaten to death with a lead pipe. Twenty-eight minutes later, Detective Mike O’Shea is testifying in a stuffy courtroom, unaware that, within an hour, he will be standing in an alleyway littered with beer cans and condoms while his new partner—the man who saved his life thirteen years ago—flicks bugs off of a battered corpse with a ballpoint pen. When a rogue undercover copper prematurely hauls in the prime suspect, Mike blows a fuse, resulting in an unlikely rapport developing between him and the lead homicide detective sergeant, a woman known for her stilettos and razor sharp investigative skills. At the end of his seventy-two-hour shift, three men are dead and Mike O’Shea is floating in and out of consciousness in an emergency room hallway, two women by his side. Death Before Coffee, the second book in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, weaves a homicide investigation through the life of an inner-city police detective intent on balancing his responsibilities as a son, brother, and newly single father with his sworn oath of duty. When faced with death, Mike is forced to make decisions that stir up old memories, compelling him to confront his demons while fighting the good fight.
For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan began every day of his working life with either a victim waiting in a hospital emergency room, or a call to a street corner or a blood-soaked room where someone had been left for dead. Murder, assaults on a level that defied humanity, sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the individuals who were no more than objects to the offenders: all in a day’s work. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and often heartbreaking.
As a Detective with the Toronto Police Service, Desmond P. Ryan wrote thousands of reports detailing the people, places, and events that led up to the moment he came along. He investigated the crimes and wrote synopses for guilty pleas detailing the circumstances that brought the accused individuals before the Courts. He also wrote a number of files to have individuals deemed either Not Criminally Responsible due to mental incapacity, or Dangerous Offenders to be held in custody indefinitely.
Now, as a retired investigator with three decades of research opportunities under his belt, Desmond P. Ryan writes crime fiction.
Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.
My Review 4.5-Stars
First off, the title and cover completely drew me in. Put the words “death” and “coffee” on a mocha colored cover stained with coffee rings and blood stains, and I’m all set for an intriguing afternoon’s read with my favorite cup of joe. And this book certainly did not disappoint. Although this was book 2 of a series, I felt completely pulled in and right at home with the story and character. Mike O’Shea awakens from a nightmare, reliving a harrowing event from his past. While this is usually the type of novel opening frowned on these days, I found it a compelling way to bring me into the scene and deliver a powerful punch of characterization, setting and even a bit of backstory without tedious overwriting. That is never a problem for this author, who uses an economy of words with a gritty, hard bitten voice, bringing us fully into the character’s head. I was soon racing across every page from Mike’s harried morning to a violent crime scene of a badly beaten and murdered one-legged man.
As Mike continues his investigation, he is paired with Detective Sergeant Amanda Black and soon he has his work cut out for him as the case escalates to more murders and a tangle of clues to unlock along with fighting for his life amidst his own personal demons.
Aside from some formatting issues with my e-book version, this story is a clean, smooth read and would make for a great addition to weekend travel plans or an entertaining beach book or even a cozy curl by the fire or at a favorite cafe with, of course, a cup of coffee. For those who enjoy crime novels on par with Michael Connally or Robert B. Parker, this is one author to add to their list.