Review of ‘Flash Blood’

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James Arklow is a former detective turned college lecturer turned mystery writer who just wants to make a living writing his mysteries and leave his old life behind. After a book signing in his home town of Cincinnati, he is followed home by Dan Maple, who offers him a princely sum ($100K down and another $100K upon successful completion) to find a missing veteran, Thaddeus Smith, and get a sample of his blood. Arklow demurs at first, but money speaks loud, and the case is compelling, for Smith, a dope-using GI veteran of the war in Afghanistan is now ‘dope’ himself, or at least his blood is.

Flash Blood by Joseph Hirsch is a riveting thriller that follows Arklow from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Las Vegas as, with the help of convicted hacker Eric Underwood and PI wannabe James Bender, he tracks down the elusive Thad Smith. You’ll be transfixed as Arklow deals with the lowest from the mean streets to high-rolling low-lifes. The dialogue cracks with tension and credibility, and the background is painted in true, gritty colors.

You’ll not want to read this book if you have a sensitive nature – it’s just that gutsy – or if you don’t have time to finish it in one sitting. I received a free review copy and spent much of a rainy Sunday afternoon engrossed in it. Hirsch has carved out a new niche in the PI genre, giving us a protagonist that occupies a slot all hisown. Don’t miss this book.

I give it four stars for a great read.

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