This Mystery-Thriller Has It All!
Savage Summer by Ruth Bainbridge is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read, it combines wit, humor, intricate plotting, suspense, and a cast full of likeable characters that you won’t soon forget.
Curt Savage is our wounded hero. With his fiancée murdered, he’s struggling to get his life back together—all so he can track down the as yet unknown psycho that killed the love of his life. It’s at the start of this journey that Fate lends a hand. It’s in the form of new buddy Michelle “Mike” O’Brien. She’s one of the most engaging and complex characters I’ve had the pleasure to meet. And she appears at just the right time because it’s not long before Curt accepts his first case. Enlisted by his feisty neighbor Marge Danvers to solve the mystery of who poisoned her adorable dog Mooch, Mike is right there to help, as is Wolfie, an old friend from Curt’s police force days. Curt, Mike, Marge and Wolfie comprise the formidable and exceeding entertaining team that serve as the heart and soul of this novel. Game on!
What happens next is a juggling act that had me holding my breath. It’s Fifty Shades of Ominous as the simple case of doggie felony quickly turns into something much more sinister. Out of the blue, an anonymous caller dubbed “Dr. Shadows” feeds Curt clues, but while the unknown tipster professes to know something about Ruth’s murder, can someone disguising his voice with a synthesizer be trusted? It’s what Curt is determined to find out, and when he dives down that rabbit hole, replete with tunnels leading to the other side of the moon, we go right along with him. Before he knows it, Curt is pulled into the maelstrom of a conspiracy that reaches into the depths of depravity.
The dialogue is wonderfully written as are the action scenes. There wasn’t a false note in the book that kept me on the edge of my seat. And I agree that Savage Summer is reminiscent of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It really is a woven tapestry. I commend the author for her attention to detail and cleverness at inventing a story I totally and completely lost myself in. And the twists? They don’t stop coming until the very last page. Loved the stay at The Abyssinian, but that’s all I’m going to say although I really want to say more! Like a little something about the car ride … phone call … WHA’?!!! Talk about the rug being pulled out from under me! The cliffhanger that I never saw coming had me hungering for more!
If you’ve ever had a midnight craving where you’re not quite sure what you want, this is it! This is especially true if you love mystery-thrillers, spine-tingling suspense and a whole lot more. So give into the temptation. Read Savage Summer. The Curt Savage Mysteries are addictive, but I’m not going to fight this particular urge. It’s too much fun. It’s why I’ve already downloaded Savage Fall, the second in the series. I so can’t wait to find out what happens next! A big squee and five stars!