This book was a quick and pleasant read. The writing is straightforward and clear, with very few errors. Police Chief Sam Jenkins tells of his first week or so back on the job in a small Tennessee town, after having been retired for more than a decade, from New York. He is greeted on his first full day with a murder to solve, and a good ol’ boy network to navigate.
Sam is an honest cop, and a good man. I often felt like I was reading his highly detailed personal journal. The writing is tasteful -- as tasteful as talk of murder and certain vices can be. There’s no sensationalism, no great acts of heroism, no comic book villains, no pervasive seaminess. This was a nice change, from my usual reading.
Sounds bland, right? Well, not quite. Coming out of retirement to a job he didn’t really need, Sam had a certain style of humor and irreverence, and a low tolerance for scheming and politics.
The author does a nice job of presenting southern dialect: “If y’all would take ya seats… Before we git inta reg’lar bidness, I’d like ta introduce Sam Jenkins, our new po-leece chief…”
And, the author can turn a phrase. He refers to cops out to write traffic tickets: “... provide the public service that makes the public nervous.” A bar-room suspect: “In eighty-five degrees, Luttrell wore a plaid wool shirt with the sleeves cut off at the shoulder seams, beneath Liberty brand, denim overalls. His arms were big and tattooed. [He] smelled like his fashion choice might be more suited to a cooler climate.” Of a sting operation: “... the state cops played Buck like a hillbilly banjo.”
I recommend this book. As to a whole series of Sam Jenkins books -- maybe not… I may prefer this style of writing only for occasional palate cleansing.
A very good read. this story was well thought out, well written and well edited. I worked for twenty years as a Police and 911 dispatcher in Eastern Kentucky and never knew a dispatcher who carried a badge and gun. All dispatchers were civilian employees not sworn officers so I took a little exception with that but things may be done differently in Tennessee. This was not enough to change my opinion of the book. The main character is the Police chief and Mr. Zurl has written a good book.
I received a complimentary copy from the author via Voracious Readers Only.
A very enjoyable, effortless one day read. I enjoyed the characters and it was easy to picture them in my mind. The author’s writing style reminds me of Jack Huber’s writing and the wiseass-ness of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. Sometimes a little too much wise-ass. The locale of the story is eastern Tennessee around Knoxville and the story is a good reminder that evil people sometime live in beautiful places.
Sam drives his dream car - a 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III convertible which, oddly enough, has been my dream car since 1967.
Zurl’s Sam Jenkins has spent enough time on the streets and in the job to know when to be moral as opposed to strictly legal.
The action is swiftly paced and kept me turning pages. The rating of 4, as opposed to 5, is because the married Sam is an outrageous flirt and I suspect that sooner or later he’s going to get hauled up on harassment charges.
The victim is not a very nice man and deserves to be killed. With so many suspects, I kept turning the pages to see how Police Chief Sam Jenkins would solve the crime. You know he's going to find the killer because he's smart, appreciates good looking women, and is persistent. His sense of humor was a delightful bonus.
Worth reading. I might even buy a few more in the San Jenkins series. Well developed characters. Likeable main character. Interesting local for a murder mystery, very small town in the South. I felt the development of perspective about law and justice fitted the characters and the situation.
I downloaded this to my Kindle because #1: I enjoy detective/cop thrillers and #2: I actually live in the Prospect community (Yes, there is really a wide place in the road bearing that moniker.) I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The character development kept me entertained throughout and makes me yearn for more stories centered around Chief Sam Jenkins. The story moved at a good clip, and there was never a dull moment. I delighted in reading about familiar places and in trying to figure out if some of the characters were emulating actual personalities. Of course, "if ye ain't from around here" other readers will not experience these same pleasures I had the great fortune to enjoy. It was so refreshing to see an outsider stand up to the "good ole boy" workings of a small community and emerge with his self respect and the respect of others intact. Sam Jenkins represents what most of us would like to be, and his straightforward but fair manner makes him most likeable. Mr. Zurl, if you'll keep on writing, I'll keep reading.
I like a mystery with a lighter touch, and this one does it well. Perhaps over-does it slightly. The ending is disappointing, not because it's left fuzzy but because the story stops. It doesn't finish. It's OK to have a plot in which the ending is uncertain (though few do it well), but the story needs to have a finish. Nevertheless, I look forward to reading more in this series.