Created by J.D. Allen
Not since Sam Spade introduced himself in the Hammett short story “They Can Only Hang You Once” by declaring “My name is Ronald Ames” has a private eye series spun my brain around so quickly as the opening of 19 Souls (2018), which kicks off with what seems like a pretty standard babe-client-meets-gumshoe scenario — until you realize both the client and the Las Vegas P.I. JIM BEAN are lying.
Unfortunately, after that the plot soon devolves into a solid but pretty typical serial killer yarn, with Jim belatedly realizing he’s been duped, but plugging methodically on, with much of the story following the killer whose often contradictory quirks and obsessions aren’t nearly as fascinating as they could be.
Too bad. Jim seems like an affable kinda guy, and the author definitely shows promise. The sequel, Skin Game (2019), is on the TBR pile. we’ll see…