THE HOOKER, THE HANDYMAN AND WHAT THE PARROT SAW by Patricia Harman

THE HOOKER, THE HANDYMAN AND WHAT THE PARROT SAW

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A female detective attempts to keep her personal life from interfering with her pursuit of a serial killer in this debut novel.

Sgt. Charlotte “Charlie” Cavanaugh’s beat is catching pedophiles in Landon City, Virginia. Between her divorce, pet parrot, and the demands of her job, Charlie doesn’t have much energy these days: “She was tired. Tired of surviving. Tired of the inhumanity she watched people inflict on one another, especially on those ‘they loved.’ She prayed no one would ever ‘love’ her that much again.” But when two of her pedophiles from previous cases end up murdered, Quantico sends an FBI agent named Jake Adams to oversee the case. Charlie resents the very idea of him, though she quickly becomes smitten by the reality of him, especially since her 15-month online relationship with an active duty service member named AJ hasn’t yielded closer contact. A third murder proves that Charlie really does have a serial killer on her hands, though she’s finding herself increasingly distracted by the presence of Jake. As they delve into each other’s pasts, they may discover what they need to catch the killer—or they might unearth something even more disturbing than the crimes they’ve already seen. Harman writes with attitude and jocularity, hewing close to Charlie’s perspective as she attempts to navigate her profession: “She was instantly enchanted by this old leathery saddle bag of a man. For the next several hours the radio was virtually silent and she hit the poor trapped Officer with every non-stupid question she could think of.” The author excels in making Charlie feel thoroughly human, with a believable backstory and a constant awareness (and anxiety) of how the men around her are perceiving her. The plot cleverly functions as an outgrowth of her vulnerabilities, and while aspects of it are rather easy to predict, the narrative does not work out in quite the way readers will expect it to. Character tension and multiple twists make up for the weaker facets of this entertaining novel.

An enjoyable crime tale from a promising storyteller.


Page count: 349pp
Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2018




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE ICE PRINCESS by Camilla Lackberg
by Camilla Lackberg
FictionWHAT MY BODY REMEMBERS by Agnete Friis
by Agnete Friis
MysteryTHE FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Sara Blaedel
by Sara Blaedel