Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Flight or Fight
AUTHOR: Dirk Greyson
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 192 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 5, 2016
Life in the big city wasn’t what Mackenzie “Mack” Redford expected, and now he’s come home to Hartwick County, South Dakota, to serve as sheriff.
Brantley Calderone is looking for a new life. After leaving New York and buying a ranch, he’s settling in and getting used to living at a different pace—until he finds a dead woman on his porch and himself the prime suspect in her murder.
Mack and Brantley quickly realize several things: someone is trying to frame Brantley; he is no longer safe alone on his ranch; and there’s a definite attraction developing between them, one that only increases when Mack offers to let Brantley stay in his home. But as their romance escalates, so does the killer. They’ll have to stay one step ahead and figure out who wants Brantley dead before it’s too late. Only then can they start the life they’re both seeking—together.
I’ve read this author’s other books, and was curious where he was going with a western under this pen name. I like his books, no matter which name he publishes under but at first I wondered why this one wasn’t under his other name. Then I got into the book and realized it is primarily a murder mystery / whodunit. It is definitely a Dirk story. That said, I liked the book, quite a bit in fact. I liked the underlying mystery / whodunit, but I think more time was spent on the whodunit, than on the characters. Usually with this author, I have a pretty good image in my head of what his characters look like. Not in this one. I felt the characters’ background and descriptions were a little lacking. While that didn’t necessarily hurt the story, it hurt my connection to the story just a little bit.
Let’s talk about the story. Brantley Calderon was a big time hedge fund manager in Manhattan. When his business partner pulled some shady deals and tried to pin it all on Brantley, it didn’t stick, but the backlash was enough to topple Brantley from his position of trust to the ultra-wealthy clients he served. Washed up in Manhattan he purchased a ranch in South Dakota, sight unseen…well except for a ton of photos taken by his local realtor. So off he went to rural South Dakota, where there aren’t any sounds but insects and birds for as far as he can hear. Idyllic. Well…until he comes home from an unproductive visit to the local town to find his realtor shot dead on his front porch. Of course just when he leans over her and gets blood all over himself, the local Sheriff pulls up.
Mack is a hometown boy, having grown up in the community. He trained to become a police officer and planned on moving to a bigger town / city to pursue a police career. All that changed though when he had to return to his hometown when his father was crippled in a ranching accident. Mack then ran for and was elected to the County Sheriff’s position. What is he to make of the overdressed stranger standing over a local realtor’s body covered in blood?
That leads us off on a string of suspects in this story. I liked this book. It was well written except for my minor character background concerns that I mentioned above. On the whodunit side…honestly…I had no idea all the way through who the miscreant was. I had my suspicions and was hoping I was wrong. And I was…totally. Didn’t see that reveal ending coming at all! This was a good, fast read, similar to the author’s other books in its ease of readability. It had humor and drama in equal portions and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a feel good mystery/romance. No surprise with this author that it is a HEA. Trust me, if you like this author’s writing, you’re in for another enjoyable read.
Good job Mr. Greyson.