The Confessors’ Club (A Dek Elstrom Mystery)
By Jack Fredrickson
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
I had trouble categorizing this one – it’s humorous, suspenseful, and a bit of a whodunit. I finally just decided to go with “Traditional Mystery.”
Dek is on the case for his wealthy, unfriendly ex-father-in-law, Wendell. Three of his associates have recently died, and Wendell is suspicious that the deaths were in fact murder. Dek starts to look into things, and realizes that these three men are prominent members of the City of Chicago, the “heavy cream.” Dek discovers that a fourth member of the heavy cream is missing, and Wendell abruptly discontinues Dek’s services.
At times, Dek’s character reflected a bit of an old Humphrey Bogart-type detective from the early 1940’s. A little sarcastic and definitely sure of himself, Dek is the private investigator who is going to keep digging until he figures out what is going on. Even though Wendell has taken Dek off the case, he is not backing down. Especially once the Chicago PD, FBI, and IRS are all interested in his investigation.
This book had a lot of humor throughout. His relationship with his best friend Leo is very Ferris Bueller/Cameron-like:
He answered on the third ring. “This had better involve winning a lottery.” His voice was scratchy with sleep.
“Even better. It’s your friend for life, abducted this morning by the IRS, now stranded downtown with no money in his jeans and a real hungry expression on his face.” I gave him the address. “Come pick me up, buy me breakfast, and drive me home.”
This was a fun novel to read. At times it did get a bit suspenseful, but Dek’s personality and humor are a constant fixture in the story. The characters were interesting, and while I have not yet read the first four novels in the series, I was able to jump right into their lives. On a personal front, Dek is supposed to be traveling to San Francisco to spend time with his girlfriend Jenny. Instead, he is spending more time with his ex-wife Amanda, trying to help keep her father safe. While Dek is able to solve the case, his personal life is left unresolved for the next novel.
This story had a lot of twists and turns. I’m not sure if there are enough clues laid out for the armchair detective to really guess the ending, but it’s a fun ride along the way.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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