#Review / #Giveaway – The Good Detective by John McMahon @PutnamBooks

The Good Detective
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0525535535
ISBN-13: 978-0525535539
Kindle ASIN: B07F63ZJT7

How can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia–until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder–a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a gritty, compelling, emotional, terrifying story that I escaped right into and only came out for air when I had to get some sleep. I dove back in the next day as soon as I was able and stayed there even after I stopped reading the author’s words. This story has stuck with me since.

Detective P.T. Marsh is still trying to recover after losing his wife and son in an accident almost 2 years ago. He had always had good instincts but he is seriously off his game, drinking too much and having blackouts. His poor judgment leads him to the home of an abusive boyfriend after meeting his girlfriend and noticing the bruises covering her body. After beating the guy to shreds he leaves him with a deadly warning. Back on the job the next day he and his partner are called to a murder. Soon he realizes they are headed on the same path he took to the victim of his beat-down. Did he blackout and kill the guy? No way, but can he really be sure? Especially when the techs are going to find evidence he was there the night before.

While he tries to cover his tracks he makes a huge discovery in the victim’s garage. Evidence of arson that leads them to a field that been burned. As he looks over the fire scene he makes another grisly discovery. A young black teen’s body with a noose around his neck. Did the abusive boyfriend lynch this kid and light the field on fire to cover his crime?

P.T. takes on the case while trying to keep his involvement secret from everyone. What he finds is appalling and shocking and could rock the town of Mason Falls to its core.

The author has created vivid characters P.T. Marsh is a strong man. Flawed, smart, a complicated man facing demons of his own. Finding himself wrapped up, in this case, may be the thing that finally breaks him. His partner Remy is a young rookie who knows something is up with her partner but he shuts her out at every turn. His chief and the other officers have faith in him, but he is holding on to his job by the tips of his fingers. He made a stupid decision to try to scare off an abuser and it could be the final nail in his coffin.

Mr. McMahon takes on serious issues in his debut novel. A layered story featuring the racial divide found in Mason Falls, Georgia dating back decades, back even as far the civil war. Little clues lead to huge reveals. With the current climate these days it wasn’t as hard to wrap my head around these ghastly acts as it would have been just a couple of years ago. So sadly, this story definitely had a ripped from the headlines feel. Something you could see on the nightly news today.

McMahon does an excellent job of setting each scene taking the reader right into the drama. This story was an emotional journey both for the characters and for me as the reader. Anger, repulsion, fear, heartbreak, and more. The story had a slow build but soon following P.T. step by step was riveting. The dialogue was true to life with a few curses as expected in this genre.

For me, John McMahon is now an author to watch. He ends his acknowledgment with “P.T. Marsh will be back. Stay tuned.” That makes me happy because I believe the man has turned a corner and I would like to see where the author takes this character.

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About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 thought on “#Review / #Giveaway – The Good Detective by John McMahon @PutnamBooks

  1. Thank you for your review on “The Good Detective” by John McMahon and for introducing me to a new to me author.

    I’d love the opportunity to read this great sounding book and getting to know more about his author’s books through the pages.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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