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Blood Truth: A Rick Cahill Novel


Blood Truth: A Rick Cahill Novel

Following 2016’s blockbuster DARK FISSURES, private investigator Rick Cahill treads gingerly across burned bridges in San Diego’s tony suburb of La Jolla.

One of the spans Rick charred is a friendship that could have been with benefits. Kim Connelly is now married to real estate mogul Jeffrey Parker and is a name partner in the successful Parker agency. She asks Rick to unearth dirt Jeff may be using to bury their marriage. Is this a puente nuevo to rekindle a flame snuffed before it blossomed?

"Each of these books raises the hard-boiled thriller bar, but this multifaceted Chandler-like installment rockets that measure to Himalaya heights."

Rick follows Jeff to a hotel and photographs the mogul cavorting with Sophia. Hired to stalk Kim’s husband, Rick sees “evil and dangerous” Peter Stone arrive at the hotel as Jeff departs. Stone is a “predator cloaked in civility.” Rick can’t tail both, so he enlists compatriot PI Moira McFarlane, whose “smarts and Pitbull-with-a-bone attitude were what made her such a good investigator.” Like a Golden State chain, Kim is linked to Jeff, he to Sophia, who schmoozes with Stone, and makes an appearance at the Parkers’ real estate office.

Contemporaneously, Rick comes across a safe hidden in the wall of his childhood home, the house now under reconstruction by a developer. The safe belonged to his father, a disgraced La Jolla cop who drank himself into an early grave. The only thing belonging to his father that Rick had kept was the “LJPD badge. Tarnished by time and by his reputation.” Charlie Cahill “had once been an inherently good man,” until he had been at the scene of a murder that remains unsolved for 28 years. “Justice was blind, but not deaf, and money talked.” The safe holds a cash stash and something suggesting no doubt that Rick’s “father hadn’t been a bad cop.”

Items in the safe are like a few jigsaw puzzle pieces, just enough for Rick to realize that the decades-old cold case is the missing jigsaw frame. “Like finding a bloody needle in a haystack,” Rick tracks down puzzle fragments. He encounters corruption and killers, and slowly fleshes out a picture puzzle of the truth to the blood flowing through his veins.

This fourth volume is the most complex of the series. After earning the Anthony Award, Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, San DiegoBook Award, Macavity Award nominations, and accolades from many others, Matt Coyle has been compared to thriller phenom Raymond Chandler, arguably best known for the film adaptation of THE BIG SLEEP, featuring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Years ago, Rick was acquitted but never exonerated of his wife’s homicide, which continues to haunt him. The character’s complete profile can be found in YESTERDAY’S ECHO, the first in the series. Each of these books raises the hard-boiled thriller bar, but this multifaceted Chandler-like installment rockets that measure to Himalaya heights.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on December 8, 2017

Blood Truth: A Rick Cahill Novel
by Matt Coyle