Whiskey Sour is a tight - super tight - thriller featuring a gritty, older cop named Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels. I loved it.
Jack is on the hunt for the Gingerbread Man, a lunatic whose killing ritual will leave a nasty taste in the back of your throat. Not quite the "scarier" than Hannibal Lecter villain the book jacket promises, but still unique.
For some reason, everything about Whiskey Sour is a little atypical. J.A. Konrath has the writing chops - and then some - to carry off a strong, believable female protagonist. Her "baggage" is expected, and the role of "tortured hero" is well done, without the over-the-top sprinkles that could have made her whiny.
She isn't. Not in the slightest. Not when the Gingerbread Man leaves a deadly bag of chocolate treats in her vehicle, not when he kidnaps her, not even when he shoots her the first time. She's a tough chick, without being overbearing, and she's raw with a dusting of compassion. Konrath could write the book on creating sympathetic characters.
At only 275 pages, there's little room for fluff. The murder scenes have just enough description to picture the gore, but Konrath knows when to pull back, leaving room for your imagination. He uses his "novel real estate" well, with not one extraneous word. The dialogue is crisp, often humourous, and always intentional. Not surprisingly, I've asked my muse to study Konrath's style.
Whiskey Sour is the first in the Jack Daniels series - and for that I'm thankful. I think it will be a while before I tire of this refreshing protagonist.
Thanks Karen for lending me this winner - thankfully, the spine was already cracked. xo