Friday, October 19, 2007

WHEN ONE MAN DIES by Dave White

This review of White's first novel is biased. As Thrilling Detective Fiction Editor, I had the chance to read some of Dave's earliest Jackson Donne stories. I saw potential and heart in them. I also picked them apart like the language nut I am.

When Jackson's drinking buddy Gerry Figueroa dies in a hit-and-run, the bartender at The Olde Towne Tavern encourages Donne to look into the life of a man they only knew socially. When it appears Gerry was involved in manufacturing and pushing drugs, Jackson starts to suspect the hit-and-run wasn't an accident. The ensuing investigation pits him against his former Narcotics squad mentor, Bill Martin, the only man Jackson didn't name in a sweeping sting that turned his brother cops against him.

Knowing many of the characters from the stories, I was glad to see them on the larger canvas of When One Man Dies. Wouldn't you know, I found dozens of nits I would have picked, but past them all, I saw the same potential and heart that are distinctly Dave White. I look forward to more.

2 comments:

Dave White said...

Awesome! I have no nits to pick with this review.

Book Bird Dog said...

I have nits to pick, however. I thought the plot was good but that the hard hitting spare prose was overdone as well as the overuse of dialogue that aims to be realistic but which does not always advance the plot.

Would have liked to see more detailed description of place and people. I think the plot would need to be more elaborate and surprising to do without these.