BELOW THE LINE by Howard Michael Gould


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Quirky bicycle-riding ex-cop Charlie Waldo (Last Looks, 2018) reunites with his Mercedes-driving partner in crime-solving—and wild sex—Lorena Nascimento to take on the case of a spoiled teenager suspected of killing her history teacher.

Waldo, the Marie Kondo of detectives with his refusal to own more than 100 items, has recently returned from a long isolated stint in his tiny house in the woods (well, he had his chickens to keep him company). He and Lorena, a licensed PI, first encounter 15-year-old Stevie Rose when she asks them to find her missing older brother. Then she goes missing. Her teacher, whom she admitted she slept with, is found dead. And the parents she claims were killed in an accident are found alive and well, all things considered. (Her TV producer father is still bummed over the failure of a procedural he describes as "Love Boat meets The Shield.") The path to solving the murder is crowded with oddballs, including "extortionate" LAPD cop Big Jim Cuppy, who has it in for Waldo, and trafficker Don Q, whose gratitude for Waldo’s getting his daughter into a second-grade class goes only so far. And then there is the bear that scares the expletives out of Waldo—actually a Presa Canario dog with major jaws. If Maynard G. Krebs had become a PI, he might resemble Waldo, a longhair who is equally thrilled about work. But Maynard never had a woman to rhapsodize over the way Waldo rhapsodizes over Lorena or, one can assume, the "staggering" sex.

Seasoned TV writer Gould's offbeat second novel all but assures his series has legs. Or at least large paws.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5247-4486-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2019


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