Thanks Henry Chamberlain for this fabulous review!
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2021
Detective Frank Nagler can join Sam Spade, Nero Wolfe, Ellery Queen and all the rest of the crime fiction honor roll as an entertaining and compelling character! I think the author, Michael Daigle, a journalist by trade, is having a lot of fun here. It will be evident to the reader that Daigle has a command of the crime beat, the political beat, and the overall gritty city beat! Daigle’s prose is robust and keeps the reader hooked. If you can win over the reader with your own level of passion, then you’ve won as a writer. And the reader gets to reap the rewards. I’m sure Daigle has paced himself and plotted a fun course for this series. I look forward to more.
The ringing phone grabbed Detective Frank Nagler from the fitful sleep he had found crammed into an office chair like a discarded suit jacket. It was three a.m.
The phone rang again, buzzing like a swarm of flies. He rolled dizzily sideways, slammed his feet to the floor and sat in the chair, feeling his back clench. Crap, that hurt. The phone rang again. And again. He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands and waited for one more ring, then picked up the receiver. “You’re kidding,” he replied wearily to the dispatcher’s request. “What’s next, locusts? Yeah, never mind. Thanks. Just what we need after all this. Be there soon.”
He wrapped himself in his long black raincoat that had become his shield against the wet and raging world, and leaned into the outer door as the hurricane winds slapped him awake.
He had not seen the sky for days, felt the heat of the sun, wore dry shoes or walked outside without that raincoat since the storm blew in and sealed the hills above the city with a dense smothering grayness, a swirling menace of thunder clouds and shrieking winds that pounded the city with an apocalyptic rain that sent the Baptist preachers howling to the hills about sin and damnation. It emptied the grocery store shelves of everything but a few cans of cream of mushroom soup, and locked the residents in the top floors of their homes as the river crashed its banks, flooded streets and rearranged the city landscape like a madman with an earth mover.
The placid, blue August sky had been replaced by rain that came and stayed. Rain with menace, rain that pulsed around corners dark with dislodged pieces of the earth as it ripped away every weak thing it could; rain that claimed, rain soulless and dark as evil; that challenged knowledge; rain that took possession.
The ancients knew what to do with rain like this, he thought wickedly, squinting into the horizontal blast of water.
Conjure an honest man with a ship and spin a parable about the wages of sin. Nagler laughed sourly. And then get out of town. Nagler plowed his car through the treacherous bumper-deep water that filled the downtown streets. Random spotlights, swinging loosely from dangling wires on damaged poles or hanging off ripped roof tops banged with the hollow, doomed echo of cathedral bells at the end of times and flashed a shifting and sinister light on flooded parking lots or intersections rippling with dark water. Store after store was dark, some with boards covering glass windows; others had jagged shards of glass that gleamed menacingly in the fractured light, hanging in dented window frames.