Deadly Arts

A Shane Hadley Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - General
267 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K T Bowes for Readers' Favorite

“It is not difficult for imaginative people to create opportunities,” writes the author of Deadly Arts, Ken Brigham. His cast of characters occasionally leans towards satire, but the plot is serious business with a disabled cop at the helm. Have you ever wondered what happens to Nashville’s finest when they’re invalided out of the service? ‘Sherlock’ Shane Hadley has languished long enough when he reconnects with Hardy Seltzer to investigate a murder that looks like natural causes. An accurate quote from the novel stresses: ‘Sometimes justice, like water, seeks its own level, regardless of obstacles in its path.’

My favorite character in the novel is Kiki, Shane’s scientist wife. She’s portrayed as a woman who brings a calming influence to the storyline. She’s practical and unflappable with depths which I hope future novels will explore. Shane is a complicated man with a lot going on beneath his veneer of capability and the author does a fantastic job of scratching the surface, so the reader can see hints of vulnerability. Hardy Seltzer is a man caught between a rock and a hard place, and he rides the difficult authority figures with all the skill of a pro surfer. I would love to see these characters fleshed out into a formidable, long-running series. The author manages to keep the identity of the killer a mystery until the very end, and the story is hard to put down. With such a list of fascinating subjects, the reader is spoilt for choice while the author keeps them guessing on the issue of murder or natural causes. It’s awesome to see a disabled person in the role of a main character and Shane is perfect. The author sums up his position beautifully. ‘Times like these made Shane feel fortunate in spite of (or because of) the wrinkles in his story.’ This is just one point of difference about this novel which makes it an attractive read.