Running from the Dead

Running from the Dead by Knowles, Mike (ebook)

“Running From The Dead” begins in a coffee shop where Sam Jones obsesses about every detail from what cup his coffee comes in to the graffiti on the bathroom wall. It is a slow methodical beginning. So detailed that you almost miss the grim details like the blood splatters on his sleeve and his missing arm. There’s a pace to this private eye story quite unusual for the genre.

And, indeed, it’s not really the private eye business that keeps Jones awake at night. When he gets a paying client, he frankly dismissed her concerns about her errant father. Perhaps that’s because Jones has bigger concerns like the missing child case he has been working painstakingly for 73 months, making monthly reports to the bereaved mother. Like the bloodstains on his sleeves that he washes in the coffee shop restroom. Like the hidden meanings and the faint cry for help he finds in the restroom graffiti.

For Sam Jones, it’s about saving someone and he slowly methodically keeps trying. Because there has gotta be some place closer to heaven than it is to Hell. He just hasn’t found it yet.

Interspersed with some comedic moments poking fun at the hardboiled craft of private eye work and ferreting out octogenarian bank robbers are some depth charges. Sam Jones is not exactly Mike Hammer and he’s not exactly innocent, but his posse of hardened tough guys is something different altogether.

This is an enjoyable read, but very different in feel from Tin Men. I’m not sure if the pace here will be for everyone, but it’s a different approach to what sometimes feels like a been-there-done-that genre.

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