For Lennox Cooper, helping out a friend means gambling with her life.
‘In the rainy city of Portland, Matilda Bauer has been blackmailing her parole officer, Fulin Chen. Just when Fulin’s ready to come clean, Matilda disappears. Bad news for Fulin, because once Matilda is arrested for breaking parole she’ll show the photos she has on him and end his career. Fulin turns to his longtime friend and poker buddy, Lennox Cooper, P.I., to help him find the beautiful blonde con-woman.’
Published by Diversion Books March 2016, Betting Blind was a new departure for me. I received my copy of this novel from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
I will immediately say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s the second novel in a series about P.I. Lennox Cooper. Lennox is bit of a female lone ranger. A former police officer in the Portland Police Department, Lennox knows how to fight for herself but this time things are different and she has to fight for her friend, Fulin Chen.
It’s quite a short novel at 254 pages, but I found the pace just incredible. Lennox never really sleeps. She has the most amazing energy & fortitude to stick with the task in hand. Throughout the book there is a running theme of the card game, hence the name of the novel. Lennox has a steady card game every Friday night in the back room off a bar downtown with her ex-workmates. These are the guys who remained loyal to her when times on the force got tough. They have her back. They are ‘her tribe’.
The book opens with Lennox investigating a suspected case of ‘grooming’. She meets with her client and using her inherent ability to solve crime, she brings the case to completion. She’s happy and ready to ‘win’ again at the table when her life takes a sudden and dramatic change. Her best mate Fulin never shows……..
Fulin Chen is a parole officer & one of his clients Matilda Bauer is missing & subsequently found dead. Fulin becomes the main suspect and Lennox literally puts her life on the line to help him. She accumulates a list of suspects with the help of Fulin. With her, in some cases, rather unorthodox approach, she eventually narrows this list down to just a few. Now she has to provide the evidence to prove her theory on the actual murderer.
There is a background story running in parallel with Lennox’s search for the murderer & that is her search for love. With the lifestyle she leads it always seems to pass her by. The unsociable hours and the dangers attached to her job make it extremely hard for any love affair to last. Lennox, while a very tough, strong and able P.I., is also a very lonely woman, who has made some very bad choices in love and is always hoping for that to change ‘Maybe the bad luck she’d had at the table tonight was love knocking on the door. What else good she do but humbly accept the laws of chance? She told him yes, she’d like that very much’
Throughout this novel, the weather appears to be a very important factor. Lily Gardner is a lover of the noir & I expect that she is looking to create that noir like atmosphere with the novel. Noir is not something that comes to mind when reading this novel. It’s a fast paced, mystery novel with a tough female P.I. at the helm, working hard to help a friend. There is action, humour, tragedy & ultimately murder in this book.
it’s a 4* mystery read that will leave you wondering what will Lennox do next?
Til next time