Night Never Ends by Martin Clark

NIGHT
Night Never Ends by Martin Clark
Publisher: Eggplant Literary Productions
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Horror, Historical, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (83 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

On a humid Los Angeles evening in 1951 Lucas Helath witnesses a murder in his office. The cops would love nothing more than to pin it on Helath. But before they can start he watches a woman step in front of a truck after delivering an impossible message: “Harry Furie sends his regards.”

Impossible because Furie, Helath’s former partner, is dead, lost in the Korean War. As the night deepens, Helath is dogged by memories, the wisecracks of an Imp that may just be all in his head, and spirits that might be all too real. Bodies are piling up, and Helath needs to know what’s going on.

He has till dawn to track down the killer and clear his name or the mob, the Church and the LA PD will come down on him, hard.

It’s hard to know who to trust when you’re the number one suspect.

While he isn’t someone I’d want to befriend in real life, Lucas is a complex character whose flaws are even more interesting than his virtues. What I found most compelling about his tendency to mouth off to other people was how oblivious he was to what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of his jabs. Just enough hints were provided about his past to give a reasonable explanation for his most harmful habits, though. This character is a very good example of how a protagonist can be extremely intriguing without necessarily being likeable.

It wasn’t always clear to me whether certain conversations were actually occurring or Lucas was simply thinking about them. It’s difficult to discuss this topic without inadvertently giving away spoilers, but there were times when I wasn’t sure if his perception of reality was the same one shared by the secondary charaters. Knowing more about the circumstances in which these conversations occurred would have helped me find answers to both questions.

The snappy dialogue in this story was as funny as it was informative. Each character expressed his or her personality in large part through what they said and how they said it. One needs a quick wit to survive in this universe, and it was amusing to see how all of the people who live in it have learned to stay on their toes.

Night Never Ends kept me guessing until the end. I’d recommend it to anyone who is a big fan of noir mysteries.

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