REVIEWED by Alexander
SERIES: Jimmy McSwain Files
AUTHOR: Adam Carpenter
PUBLISHER: Linden Corners Press
LENGTH: 7 hours
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
RELEASE DATE: December 7, 2016
Jimmy McSwain returns to help his sister’s boyfriend fight a murder charge – and finds he may just have a lead on a cold case. Hell’s Kitchen private investigator Jimmy McSwain returns in a twisting tale of past sins and present-day vengeance.
Jimmy McSwain isn’t thrilled about taking a case for free – but when his sister fears her boyfriend, Rocky, is cheating on her, he has no choice. But the case takes a deadly turn when Rocky is standing over the body of a man he was just seen kissing, and he’s holding the gun. He begs Jimmy to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, as a sweltering heat wave claims New York City, a gunman with a thirst for blood is targeting Manhattan deli owners and has already claimed two victims. Jimmy knows a thing or two about those – 14 years ago his father was killed outside a deli, and it’s possible today’s killer could be linked to that unsolved murder, one that continues to haunt Jimmy.
Enlisting the aid of sexy NYPD Captain Francis X. Frisano, Jimmy finds himself torn between the two cases, as well as the heat simmering between himself and the hot cop. Suddenly a quiet summer has erupted into a full blown crime wave.
Crime Wave is the second book in the Jimmy McSwain Files and is a direct continuation of the first book, Hidden Identity and as such cannot be read as a standalone.
I will be up front about the fact that my review will be brief and somewhat vague, simply because it is a mystery, there are murders, there is mayhem, and relationships continue to grow and change as the characters progress and evolve.
The evolution of Jimmy and Frank’s relationship, with the inherent challenges, like Frank being a cop, Jimmy vowing to never date cops, Frank’s apparent status as closeted, do not bode well, and yet somehow they make it work. Jimmy’s single-minded focus on the current deli robberies and murder crime spree, was nicely woven together with the other plot threads, and although it did not seem like the main focus of the story, it was nice to have closure, albeit unexpected closure.
Jimmy’s real case to prove Rocky’s innocence in the murder of boyfriend Duvan seemed to get lost due to the focus on the deli murders, but it wasn’t in fact the case. Carpenter carefully planted clues periodically throughout the story which once I discovered the identity of the killer, it all made sense, and it didn’t feel like a cheat, the planning of the plot and subtle clues were masterfully done.
Something I always look for in a narrator is that they fit not only the feel of the story, but suit the age, feel, and attitude of the characters. Crime Wave and Leslie are one of those perfect pairings. Leslie’s portrayal of Jimmy maintained the consistency that I look for in a series, and his tone and attitude come through in the performance with just the right amount of drama, while never crossing the line to melodramatic. I was extremely impressed by the quality, consistency, and uniqueness of the sheer number of secondary characters.