The Unsub

Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mysteries Book 7

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
507 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Unsub by Owen Parr is Book 7 of the Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian Crime Mysteries series. Joey Mancuso is in Miami Beach but not for a vacation. Miami Beach police have shown no interest in the death of Gene Wells, a hedge fund employee who was killed in a hit and run. Joey is interested though; the kid’s father is a friend of a friend and they want Joey to investigate. Together with Marcy, his FBI wife, Joey steps into a quagmire of financial corruption and conspiracy. They call in a favor from an old friend to go undercover and soon discover a trail that leads them right back to New York City. There, with Father O’Brian joining in, they find their suspects dropping like flies as the main villains take out anyone who might get in their way. Can the trio stay ahead of these villains or are they next in line?

The Unsub by Owen Parr is another great offering in this series. You can read it as a standalone but, to get the full picture, it's best to read it as part of the series. We meet lots of characters from previous stories and some new ones, all developed into real people and the Eastern European flavor that runs through this story is in keeping with some current affairs in the world right now. There is, as with the previous books, plenty of action, each page urging you to keep reading. Twists and turns take you from Miami Beach back to the seedy underworld of New York City, keeping you on the edge of your seat with a mixture of hard-hitting action and some humor thrown in for good measure. If you love crime stories, hard, gritty crime thrillers, then this is one author I highly recommend.

Patricia Reding

Owen Parr delivers another Joey Mancuso and Father O’Brian Crime Mystery in The Unsub, an engaging and thought-provoking tale, sure to have you turning pages at a fast rate. Former NYPD detective Joey Mancuso (turned private investigator), his priest brother, Father O’Brian, and Joey’s team (together with an occasional unofficial hand lent by Joey’s FBI badge-bearing wife, Marcy), are brought in to help solve a mystery at the request of Captain Alex Johnson, Joey’s former NYPD boss. It seems Johnson’s old friend, Ed Wells, lost his son, Gene, in an accident that Ed does not think was the simple hit and run that the local police readily believed it to be. The request sends Joey to the scene in Miami to get things going. There, his crime novel writer friend, Jack Ryder, assists him in looking into the investment firm where Gene had been employed. In short order, Joey returns to NYC, and the investigation expands, revealing subjects with possible connections to organized crime from out of the Czech Republic, a U.S. senator, and even the as yet “unknown subject” of investigation referenced in Parr’s title.

This was the second Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian Crime Mystery for me, and once again, I found the tale thoroughly engaging. The mystery, the clues, and following those clues through to the conclusion is only part of the fun with this Owen Parr series. Those bits are like the main ingredients for a tasty recipe. It is the manner in which Parr mixes those ingredients, and the flavorings he adds to them—in the form of relationships and settings—that create such satisfying results. In The Unsub, Joey’s engagements with those on his team feel genuine, while the pub that he and his brother, Father O’Brian, own and where Joey and his team meet adds further authenticity to the story. Cigar bar aficionados and neighborhood pub frequenters will particularly enjoy these added details that truly make Owen Parr's crime stories come to life.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Owen Parr is a beloved author and has quite the following for his crime thrillers. The Unsub is the seventh in his Joey Mancuso and Father O’Brian Crime Mysteries series and does not disappoint. Joey and Marcy are asked a special favor - to check into the hit-and-run death of Gene Wells. Puzzling facts about his accident lead Joey to seek Jack Ryder’s help in the financial world. Maybe he can worm his way into the action to find the scheme Gene uncovered, without getting caught or killed. No mystery is complete without Father Dominic O’Brian’s expertise and sharp mind. Between Miami and New York City, Joey has his work cut out for him as the criminal base is on his home turf. The brothers work well together, though they have different techniques, which makes this story humorous.
What I love about Owen Parr’s novels is that each can be read separately while the author seamlessly weaves in pieces of previous books. The Unsub merges many characters we have grown to love with new individuals, keeping this story unique and fresh. I admire how the author lays out the plot, with the intensity building as the conspiracy deepens. With a mix of masked identities, abduction, or murder, we see the author at his finest as he masters the mystery and anticipation. Joey would have to be my favorite character. He sees through much of the facade that is thrown his way by the villains. Joey wraps up the case with flair and gusto while giving us tidbits to enjoy at the end.