See You Next Tuesday by Ken Harris, well-developed characters compliment the solid plot, and Ken Harris keeps readers entertained with humor that doesn’t feel forced. Read my full review.
See You Next Tuesday Synopsis
From the Files of Steve Rockfish #2
PI Steve Rockfish’s father loses part of his retirement savings in an online romance scam while partner Jawnie McGee handles the firm’s newest client who spins a tale of alleged spousal infidelity. Rockfish ignores his current case load and becomes fixated on tracking down those responsible for the fraud. Restitution is coming in the form of cash or broken bones. At the same time, Jawnie’s surveillance of the cheating spouse reveals more acts of kindness than sex leading to a client who doesn’t want to believe the good news.
Unbeknownst to the partners, each investigative path leads the partners to the Church of the Universal Nurturing II where the fraud is on a cryptocurrency level. Their new SunCoin is marketed as the only post-rapture currency accepted inside the pearly gates. After all, who wants to show up to the after party with out-turned pockets and not get past Heaven’s paywall?
Church elders court Rockfish and his new-found Hollywood wealth with an old-fashioned honey pot. The danger level ratchets up as Rockfish counters by sending the firm’s two new confidential informants undercover only to find the church’s endgame grift is larger and deadlier than anyone expected.
Black Rose Writing (2022)
Ken Harris | Pub Date July 14, 2022 | ISBN 9781684339891 | 299 pages
Business is good at Rockfish & McGee Investigations until investment scam artists con Mack, Steve Rockfish’s father, out of seventeen thousand dollars, forcing Steve to drop everything to get his dad’s money back. He dumps a difficult, wealthy client, Claudia Coyne, and her infidelity case on his partner Jawnie McGee. But soon, the two cases intersect when the private investigators discover the con artists who ripped off Mack are masquerading as a doomsday religious cult and also have their hooks in Claudia’s husband, Roan.
Ken Harris (author of The Pine Barrens Stratagem) ratchets up the tension early when the suspects disappear along with Roan Coyne, suggesting a possible high stakes kidnapping with a WMD overtone. The missing Roan keeps draining the Coynes’ bank accounts, and Claudia wants Steve and Jawnie to find and rescue her husband.
After Jawnie hacks the cult’s computer system, she finds a clue that leads the detectives to rural West Virginia. They find the suspects, begin surveillance, and Jawnie spots Roan. But a mistake by Steve outs them to the con artists and by the time Steve persuades his Baltimore cop friend, Dan Decker, and the feds to raid the suspect’s hideout, Earl aka Brother Lamp, one leader of the criminal enterprise, disappears again along with Roan, leaving multiple dead bodies behind at the West Virginia hideout. Rockfish and Jawnie are in a race against the clock to find and rescue Roan along with Jawnie’s CI, Lynn, who also falls into Earl’s clutches, from a stone-cold killer, before it’s too late.
Low on violence and high on comedic relief, this action-packed mystery will appeal to readers who enjoy a good PI mystery yarn with a welcome connection to the real world and that will also keep them laughing.
Harris deftly builds the tension as he entertains us with humor. A lack of cooperation by the cops, forcing Steve and Jawnie to work the case alone for the most part, helps maintain the suspense throughout. If anything, the storyline in this second book in the From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish series, is even more exciting than that of the first book. Rockfish and his partner prove compelling private detectives, and Harris brings this second “soft-boiled” Rockfish tale to a satisfying conclusion.
Book rating: ★★★★★