My Gun Sleeps Alone by Martin Clark

GUN
My Gun Sleeps Alone by Martin Clark
Publisher: Eggplant Literary Productions
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (81 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

“God may not play dice, but Death sure does—and they’re loaded.”

Lucas Helath is back. He’s holed up in a dive just outside the county-line, and just outside the jurisdiction of the L.A. PD. There’s been a murder, several of them actually, and while the DA says he’s innocent, Lucas figures keeping a low profile might be for the best. Of course this means all he has for company is the wise-cracking Imp; a creature Helath is almost certain is a figment of his imagination … almost.

What’s best and what’s smart aren’t always so clear, however, and he’s called back to the city by Sarah Schulman. Her father has been kidnapped and she wants Helath to handle the exchange to get him back. She’s willing to pay good money for his services, too. Helath will do it, not just for the money, but for a chance to get into Sarah’s good graces.

So it’s back to the city where night never ends. All Helath has to do is avoid the mob, the police and the spirits who keep popping up, and rescue Papa Schulman. All without dying, going crazy, or losing his soul in the process.

All Lucas has to do is lay low until everyone who’s looking for him gets distracted by other concerns. Unfortunately he isn’t the kind of person who blends into the background for very long.

Uncovering and piecing together all of the clues about what it really going on was a challenge. Mr. Clark didn’t make it easy for me to solve the mystery before the climax. While I squeaked through with the right answer just before everything was revealed, I was invigorated by how much work it took to solve. This tale is something I’d recommend to anyone who doesn’t mind jumping into a puzzle they might not solve.

It took a little while for me to settle into the plot. While the first several scenes were well-written and necessary in order to understand what was happening, I did find myself wishing for more action in the beginning, but this is a minor criticism of an otherwise engaging adventure.

This is the second story in a series. It can be read as a standalone work though. The most pertinent information from its predecessor, Night Never Ends, is briefly recapped in the first few scenes, and the plot itself is only loosely connected to previous events. I do recommend checking out the first book, though, due to how fascinating it was for this reader to see how Lucas has changed since his last case. The character development was once again quite well done, but a lot of it won’t be easy to spot for anyone who isn’t already familiar with him.

My Gun Sleeps Alone is a wild ride. It’s a great choice for anyone who loves mysteries set in the mid-twentieth century.

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