THE JUDAS STAR by Bob Weaving

THE JUDAS STAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A private investigator hired to find a stolen diamond becomes embroiled in a conspiracy of extortion and murder.

Roy Jobe, a private investigator in San Francisco, is a scotch-drinking, wisecracking former Marine with an office in Chinatown. The story opens (after a pointless, irritating prologue) when Jobe is hired by millionaire Peter Aguayo to recover a stolen diamond, the famous Star of Siddhartha, which disappeared from Aguayo’s house during a dinner party. Aguayo gives Jobe a list of suspects, including friends of Aguayo’s wife who were in attendance. But there’s more: Aguayo believes his wife, Sandy, is trying to kill him. She, of course, is a stunning, leggy blond with a mysterious past. Jobe has only just begun his investigation when the suspects start dying. Conveniently, Jobe is a former detective with the SFPD, and teams up with an old partner to solve the mystery. Soon, the diamond is all but forgotten, as a much deeper and more sinister story emerges. Turns out Sandy has a history of dead husbands, and her rapidly dying friends aren’t who they claim to be. As Jobe investigates the case, somebody is keeping tabs on him, though this doesn’t stop him from cracking wise at every opportunity, almost to the point of annoyance. It’s a classic, well-worn setup, and Weaving certainly won’t score any points for originality, with nearly every cliché of the genre showing up at some point, but the plot is fast-paced and tightly constructed. Though the story is entirely predictable and the material standard, the snappy prose and lively dialogue make for a quick and enjoyable read.

A solid beach-read, nothing more.

Program: Kirkus Indie
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