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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Sinful: A Leroy Cutter Novel by G W Allison revolves around Leroy “Lee” Cutter, a former Detroit police officer turned private investigator who owes a lot of money to some really bad people. After being forced out of the police department by corrupt colleagues, Lee now lives on a rundown houseboat and tries to make ends meet. Haunted by dark memories of his time in Afghanistan and the violent crimes he encountered as a cop, Lee rarely gets a restful night's sleep. However, his fortunes seem to change when he takes on a well-paying case from Barbara Goldman, a member of a wealthy and influential family. Barbara wants Lee to find her missing sister, Claire, a college student who was about to inherit a substantial fortune. As Lee delves deeper into the investigation, he uncovers a connection between Claire's disappearance and the suspicious death of her best friend, Vanessa Dixon.
G W Allison's novel The Sinful is a wonderful contemporary mystery with a classic feel that ticks all the boxes, including the voice of Lee Cutter narrating in the back of my head in a total Kevin Pollak voice. This satisfying noir murder mystery shows Lee as a private eye who is no stranger to street peril or the darker corners of his own life; an imperfect anti-hero that you cannot help but root for. The first-person narrative allows for full immersion in Lee's cynical mind so we can see how the wheels turn. Yeah, they're squeaky, but they do still work. I love how Allison sets the stage with life on the houseboat of a gambler and the private personal realm of a professional private investigator, which paints a picture of a deeply troubled and solitary existence. Allison evokes the spirit of classic hard-boiled detective fiction to an absolute T with thoroughly developed characters, all of the right twists, some of the wrong people, and a storyline that keeps a reader guessing throughout.