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Tuesday 12 November 2013

The Night Falconer by Andy Straka


Quite an enjoyable crime thriller involving an ex-policeman-turned-private detective.

A paediatric oncologist’s (Dr Lonigan) cat goes missing. So do other pets in her apartment block. She enlists the help of New York PI, Darla Barnes. When Lonigan suspects the pets are being preyed upon by an owl, to order, Darla enlists the help of PI Frank Pavlicek, who also happens to be a falconer. The case of the missing cat is more complex than either Frank or Darla could possibly have imagined. The oncologist is an animal rights activist; the residents of her apartment block are involved in a bitter dispute with its developer, who is very elusive about certain aspects of his other ‘activities’. Knives, guns, murders…all because of a missing cat and puppy? This is quite a case for Frank and his daughter, who is following in his PI footsteps. And when her life is threatened, it becomes seriously personal.

I did like this thriller, but the plot was rather complex, hurried in places, and ‘told’ rather than ‘showed'. It could have done with some extra room in which to manoeuvre—I did get a little lost and confused—and the ending was rather frantic. All threads were neatly tied up, but rather over-economically in more a less a sentence or two!

That said, it did hold my attention, it had some snappy, intelligent dialogue, and a good cast of contrasting and intriguing characters. The complexity of the plot left little room to get to know the main characters a little better, which was a shame, as I could feel a likeability for Frank and his daughter and would have welcomed a little more of their personal life and relationship to better appreciate their professional partnership.

Worth a read, nonetheless, despite many very annoying, avoidable, proofreading oversights.

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