(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“I’m jonesing pretty bad, so, bail out of the morgue, score some dope to tide me over, and then on to the next order of business: finding out who killed me.”
Huh? Charlie Miner, our drug-addicted private investigator is having a bad day. Finding himself lying in a Los Angeles morgue, he’s very dead. He feels a gunshot wound to the head, but doesn’t remember the who and the why.
Of course, he realizes that he must get out of there to answer those questions. He grabs some clothes from the body of a man in a similar situation, along with a wallet, and proceeds to split. He calls a cab and Daniel, an African taxi driver arrives and starts to cryptically counsel him. At this point, Charlie realizes that Daniel seems to know something about his predicament, but isn’t exactly sure what he is saying.
Charlie, who realizes that for now he can leave his body at will, heads for home after of course, meeting with his dealer, Jimmy, for a fix. He tries to remember not only who killed him, but also his entire life. Could the first have something to do with the last case he was working on, though he doesn’t remember the details of it?
Soon, finding his killer and why he’s among the “walking dead” is no longer of top priority. He discovers that his 15 year old daughter is abducted—probably because of him- and now the job at hand is to find and rescue her.
Down Solo embodies what I crave in a suspense novel: a unique story with lots of edge and dark humor. The complex plot is filled with so many layers but is straightforward enough to easily follow .
Though initially you may not like our protagonist, your feelings will change as the story slowly reveals Charlie’s life and character through his memories. Additionally, the supporting characters are just as bizarre as the story, and the “who-dun-it” is only part of the enjoyment.
If you’re ready for an engaging suspense novel that is truly unique, then Down Solo is the book for you.