Updated: Mar 14
Dark, twisted, humorous and surprising. The Detective Next Door is a fine example of the troubles that come along when you’re trying to cover up a murder. Let this be a lesson, just don’t do it.
I first read a short story by W.C. Gordon in the Crime Fiction Anthology “Jacked” from Run Amok Crime. I got a kick out of his story “Live, Like A Suicide.” I remember it may have been one of the shorter stories in that collection, and I was curious to see what he could do in a longer format.
Bringing us to “The Detective Next Door.”
The story of an ex-military soldier turned detective, who gets into a little trouble, and starts to realize the cover-up is just too much.
His neighbor happens to witness the trouble he gets into, and the two of them come up with this plan to cover his tracks. Of course, that is just too simple. Throw in an unexpected death, a missing person’s report, and being close with the family of the missing person, all while trying to save yourself.
It’s a murder mystery thriller. It’s a fast read, brutal at times mixing the world of the military with solving cases that are a little too close to home.
And it’s funny too. Full of sarcasm and cynicism. In fact, that is probably what I liked most about the book. The presentation of it gives us the point of view of the detective trying to cover up this thing. With that we get a lot of off-the-wall thoughts. Like deep thoughts that people probably never say out loud, but here it works because we are reading the detective’s mind.
With this presentation and point of view, it allows you to read the story on the faster side. A couple of hours and you’re done. It’s cool because in the past I’ve said I like when the dialogue tells the story. Well in this one, the sarcastic thoughts he gives us keeps things moving.
Just be warned, you may get angry with a few parts. Some of the conversations between the cops after interviewing some of the assault victims. You may want to keep telling yourself this is a piece of fiction. I realize that is hard considering things like this really happen.
I can appreciate some of the surprises closer to the end. Along with how things happen without the writer coming out and saying something happened. It keeps you alert, maybe using the old “less is more” thought process.
There are a couple of flashbacks to the military as our main character meets up with an old friend. Those scenes get a little in-depth with some of the jargon and technicalities. This is what I probably didn’t like the most about the story. These technical terms are not overbearing. At no time does this sound like an instruction manual. It doesn’t take anything away from the story as a whole. I just have a habit sometimes glazing over those parts. I don’t really need to know the model numbers of things. Some people really like that part of storytelling. But for me, just tell me it’s a gun or whatever.
Overall, I enjoyed it. I could have used without the little political commentary early in the story, as it reminded me 45 actually happened, but that’s me.
I enjoyed the overall style I think, the presentation from W.C. Gordon, and I’d like to see what he does next.
Title: The Detective Next Door
Author: W.C. Gordon
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2020
Format Reviewed: Paperback