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The Night Detectives: A David Mapstone…
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The Night Detectives: A David Mapstone Mystery (David Mapstone Series)

by Jon Talton

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Night Detectives by Jon Talton is a Poisoned Pen Press publication. This is a David Mapstone Mystery with a 2013 release date. David and his partner Peralta have been hired to find out what really happened to a young girl that took a dive out a window. Grace, aka, Scarlett has a high end client list of "Johns". However, she had cleaned up her act and gotten married and had a child. So, her "suicide" didn't seem likely. This is the first case for the pair of newly minted private detectives. After a heartbreaking defeat in the race for Sherriff of Phoenix, Arizona, Peralta starts up his own agency. Being Hispanic amid racial turmoil played in big role is his defeat. For, David, a historian, this job is a life line. He is separated from his wife. The two were involved in some pretty heavy drama and now the marriage is hanging by a thread. David is not at his best here as he struggles with anger, sadness, and guilt. This case really gets under David's skin when a baby goes missing. As the detectives search out what really happened to Grace, they undercover a conspiracy that is the link to Grace and her client list. Told in first person by David Mapstone, we are privy to his emotions and thoughts as the case proceeds as well as delving deeply into his personal life and vivid nightmares. I liked this short mystery/detective novel. The author is obviously tuned into the complex political situation in Phoenix and gives us a clear understanding of the climate there. I did have some moments of anger toward Peralta. While the agency was actually his, he could have informed David about some things in advance instead of making him look and feel stupid. Peralta got frustrated with David at times, but I felt like part of it was his fault. It looks like the agency will survive and David will have the chance to work out some of his personal issues. The two detectives and their ladies would make an excellent team for further adventures. Overall this one gets an B+ Thanks to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC. ( )
  gpangel | May 8, 2013 |
First Line: The dead talk to me in my dreams. When I wake up, I can't remember what they said.

The elections are over, and there's a new sheriff in Maricopa County. Former Sheriff Mike Peralta and his friend and Deputy David Mapstone are out of jobs-- but not for long. Trouble is, their fledgling private detective business doesn't start out well. Not only does Mapstone not want to take their first case, their client is gunned down in the parking lot moments after hiring them. Peralta decides to carry on with the case, the suspicious death of a young Arizona woman who fell to her death from a San Diego highrise.

In San Diego, the two new private eyes find the woman's boyfriend who's trying to take care of their baby. He doesn't think his girlfriend committed suicide either and hires them to look into it. Before the day is out, the boyfriend is dead and Mapstone is nearly killed. They may not carry badges anymore, but Peralta and Mapstone are still up to their necks in danger.

Although-- like all well-written series novels-- you don't have to read the rest of the books in the series for this latest installment to make sense, I'm more than happy to tell you that I'm a long-time Talton and Mapstone fan. Jon Talton is one of two writers I depend on for an accurate portrayal of the Phoenix metropolitan area. If setting is important to you, Talton's Phoenix is the real deal.

He also writes a lean, mean mystery that is both action-packed and introspective. More than once while reading The Night Detectives, I thought I had it all figured out only to find that I didn't. I like that.

I like Talton's setting, I like his stories, but more than anything else, I like his character, David Mapstone. It's been a pleasure to watch this character develop through each book in the series. In The Night Detectives, Mapstone is in a very dark place emotionally. Loved ones have died tragically. He is separated from his wife and despairs of their ever getting back together. He's lost a job he loves. He's got a lot on his mind that he'd rather not dwell on, but no matter where he goes, he can't escape his thoughts. Even his home-- once his sanctuary-- has turned into a place he wants to avoid.

The only thing I don't like about David Mapstone is that it always seems to be summer in Phoenix when he's at an emotional low, and when he's depressed, he whines about the heat. But what's a little whining from such a nuanced character in such a marvelously told tale? Since Talton's first Mapstone mystery, Concrete Desert, I've been recommending this series. The only thing The Night Detectives has done is to make me more insistent in my recommendation. ( )
  cathyskye | May 7, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 146420134X, Paperback)

The private-detective business starts out badly for former Phoenix Deputy David Mapstone, who has teamed up with his old friend and boss, Sheriff Mike Peralta. Their first client is gunned down just after hiring them. The case: A suspicious death investigation involving a young Arizona woman who fell from a condo tower in San Diego. The police call Grace Hunter’s death a suicide, but the client doesn’t buy it. He’s her brother. Or is he? After his murder, police find multiple driver’s licenses and his real identity is a mystery. To complicate things further, an Arizona state senator who was instrumental in Peralta’s recent election defeat owns the condo.
 
In San Diego, David finds the woman’s boyfriend, who is trying to care for their baby and can’t believe Grace would kill herself. He, too, hires the pair to solve Grace’s death. But a darker story emerges. Grace was putting herself through college as a high-priced call girl, an escort for rich men who valued her looks and discretion. Before the day is out, the boyfriend is murdered and David barely escapes with his own life. Someone is killing their clients. And may be coming for them. Solving the case will take Mapstone and Peralta into the world of human trafficking, corrupt politics, and the white supremacist movement. Neither the lovely beaches of San Diego nor the enchanting desert of Arizona can conceal the brutal danger that lies beneath. They no longer have badges but they are still detectives. The night detectives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

The private-detective business starts out badly for former Phoenix Deputy David Mapstone and his old friend Sheriff Mike Peralta. Mapstone and Peralta are hired to investigate the suspicious death of a young Arizona woman who fell from a condo tower in San Diego. The police call Grace Hunter's death a suicide, but the client, who is shot after hiring them and is found with multiple driver's licenses, doesn't agree. In San Diego, Mapstone finds Grace's boyfriend, who is trying to care for their baby. He, too, hires the pair to solve Grace's death. Their work reveals that this was no suicide, and Grace proves to be only the first victim of a murderous spree that reaches into the world of high-priced call girls, their millionaire clients, the white supremacist movement and a high stakes kidnapping.… (more)

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