Author Ed Lynskey sent me an email and asked me to review his book – The Blue Cheer. When I looked into it, I discovered it was not the first book in the series and I typically like to start with the book in the series. I found out from the author that his newest book (Pelham Fell Here) is actually the earliest in the series for Private Investigator Frank Johnson. Since I was able to get a hold of the Blue Cheer, I went ahead and broke from my routine of reading the first book first.
Here is what I gathered about P.I. Frank Johnson. He is a licensed P.I. in Virginia but not in West Virginia – which is where we find him in this book. He came to West Virginia to get away from it all and has made friends with his closest neighbor – Old Man. It was hard for me at first because Frank referred a lot to other characters in the book by descriptions rather than names.
An explosion occurs in the air above the woods where he lives and this sets up the rest of the mystery. He has plans to go investigate in the morning with his friend Old Man. But during the night he decides to go take a look for himself. In his past he has worked with military equipment and he finds a piece of a stinger in the dark. Next thing he knows he is clobbered on the head. When he wakes up, his friend has found him but the piece of the stinger is missing.
Old Man convinces him to report it to the local authorities. While in town at the local mini mart, he see some tee-shirts that say “The Blue Cheer” on them. He starts asking questions about them and things seem to go sour from there. They get shot at and Old Man’s handicapped wife is murdered. When he decides to investigate for himself (and later for Old Man), he gets roughed up by a deputy and gets thrown into jail.
After he is released on bail, he learns his cousin who was on death row for murdering his wife has escaped the prison in Virginia. He has been asked to come up there and speak with the warden. So he and old Man make the trip there. The warden tells him he is a person of interest and if he does not help locate his cousin, he will be thrown in jail. He and Old Man check in at a local motel and plan to start looking in the morning. Before morning comes however, two men bust into their room and kill Old Man before Frank can shoot them. Now he is on the run because he has to be able to discover the reason for the murder of Old Man and his wife.
He enlists the help of another friend who is a bounty hunter to continue his search. They learn there is a connection in the death of Old Man’s wife and The Blue Cheer so they start looking for this organization. They discover another murder – the pastor at Old Man’s wife’s church – and a connection to The Blue Cheer. They learn the pastor was outspoken against The Blue Cheer and they learn where they are located.
They call for some backup and go out to the location. Before their backup can arrive though, everything breaks loose and they must defend themselves. Frank chases after the leader and catches up with him.
After breaking up the gang and going to the funerals of his friends, Frank has decided to return to his life in Virginia. It would be interesting to learn about his life before The Blue Cheer fro