A middle-of-the-road crime novel.
The good parts:
- An unusual murder—a man roasted to death and dumped in the middle of the street in front of a Thai shrine.
- New detective Jarsdel and old-timer Morales building a partner relationship.
- A clearer picture of LA than most LA novels I’ve read lately (but I’m getting bored with LA).
- An interesting secondary plot about someone killing pet dogs. (But why are the detectives on this case?)
- An unusual detective—Tully Jarsdel has left academia to become a cop.
The not so good parts:
- Jarsdel spends way too much time explaining and thinking about why he left his previous life to join the LAPD—repetitive.
- Jarsdel’s unsympathetic two dads, who hate that he became a policeman—not an ounce of understanding.
- The whiny girlfriend.
- Not very good motives for the murderer or the dog killer.
- Jarsdel’s “save the world” attitude.
- The book could probably have been 100 pages shorter, leaving out some of the repetitive information, descriptions about driving routes, Jarsdel’s brooding about his life, etc.
Overall I enjoyed the story enough to keep reading to the end. I might read more of the series.