Review

Rusty Nail: A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery

by J.A. Konrath

This could be the funniest whodunit I've read since Janet Evanovich's last number! J.A. Konrath has hit the nail on the head with his ability to blend hilarious dialogue, memorable characters and the most despicable serial killer ever.

RUSTY NAIL, which follows BLOODY MARY and WHISKEY SOUR, is the third book in this new series that features Chicago Police Department's Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels as its sharp, competent and slightly askew heroine. Her mother is in a coma, her love life is in the toilet, her partner is a heart attack waiting to happen, and a serial killer who she dispatched in a previous case is leaving snuff videos on her doorstep. Meanwhile, her boss, Captain Bains, is more interested in office politics than police work and orders her to keep a low profile while working on this very high-profile case.

Lt. Jack Daniels could be any woman who feels that she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and must somehow bear responsibility for everything that goes wrong in her world. Undaunted, Jack sets everything aside and focuses on catching a killer who seems to be a newer, even more violent version of her earlier nemesis, the Gingerbread Man. She didn't get to be a lieutenant by luck; she's a good cop and begins to unravel this crime as she follows the evidence and filters it through her own expertise.

If I hadn't just met J.A. Konrath at ThrillerFest, I would have pictured him as some introverted borderline maniac with a knack for writing. His descriptions of the killer's mind and methods are absolutely gruesome. Instead, Konrath is a regular guy with a wry sense of humor, a vivid imagination and a clever knack for writing. He'll have you gasping one minute and giggling the next.

From the disturbing prologue through the resolution, RUSTY NAIL has the clout to keep you glued to the book regardless of your real life's demands. Konrath shares just enough clues to engage the reader but keeps the case-breaker to himself until the explosive conclusion.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding on January 23, 2011

Rusty Nail: A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery
by J.A. Konrath

  • Publication Date: July 5, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 140130088X
  • ISBN-13: 9781401300883