David P. Holmes
North Star Press
“Beauty and a remorseless soul – a deadly combination. Dangerous – like loose gravel.”
If you have ever driven a car fast on loose gravel, you are aware at how dangerous it can be and how easy it is to lose control, just like fast living.
Detective Harold Bruntz has been a part of the Minneapolis Police for thirty years. He is not handsome. In fact, he’s a mess. He wears clothes that look slept in, hasn’t bathed recently, is overweight, drinks, sleeps around, and has problems getting along with partners. He also has his own version of right and wrong and will do whatever it takes to close a case, even if it is illegal or unethical.
Now his superiors are giving him one last chance. His new partner, Yo-Yo, is a svelte, black woman who can no longer work under cover as a prostitute. Either these damaged individuals have to get along, or they are both out of a job.
Someone shot Gordon Mark and Amanda Freeman while they were in compromising positions. Gordon died immediately while Amanda lived even though she was shot in the stomach. Amanda was also married to Darrel Freeman at the time. Who would be the logical shooter?
Now, Isabel le Freeman and Darrel Freeman are shot and killed, daughter and step-father. It turns out that Isabelle was also pregnant by Darrel. Who would gain by these people being dead? Why was Amanda not killed? What does she know? How does this family interact?
Loose Gravel is a fun-twisted detective story, complete with rough language and situations. At times it is humorous, but very intent on solving the mystery of the shootings. The relationship between the characters is realistic. The story is well-written and fast-page-turning adventure. This is hard-core detective writing at its best. There is a Dirty Harry-like feeling to it with the hard living and an alternative sense of justice.
My one criticism of this novel was the need for further editing in the last third of the book. Many of the spelling and capitalization errors were distracting from the story.
David P. Holmes resides in a log cabin in Minnesota. Previously he has written Secrets, Salt of the Earth, and Emily’s Run. His son created the cover of this novel.
Personally, I would love to read more by this author. His down-to-earth style characters are who we all would like to help us if we ever needed them.