Don't get me wrong; I wasn't forced to read The Corruptible [available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions] - I chose it from the titles available to me.
I'm still a new blogger for WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing so I don't yet have full-access library privileges. That said, The Corruptible [also available at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook versions] looked like an intriguing read.
Let me get the technicalities out of the way: The Corruptible is a well-put-together novel. The opening scene - the one that introduces a new reader to Private Detective Raymond Quinn - is hot with action and, in fact, has you wondering if our flawed hero is going to make it to chapter two. The middle of the book - from chapter two to somewhere in the neighborhood of chapter fifty - clips along at a nice pace. A couple of quick notes on the middle of The Corruptible:
- I suppose that folks who regularly read and write detective novels, whodunit's or whatever they are called these days have a feel for how long it takes to solve a case, how many twists and turns the hero experiences, how many blind alleys are explored, and all that sort of thing. Not being a veteran PI novel reader, it still seems to me that Mr. Mynheir got the middle about right.
- The chapters are very short. I'm not sure how this would look in print - my review copy was an eBook - but it seemed like a majority of the chapters were a few pages long at most. Each chapter contained a scene; when the landscape or characters changed it was on to a new chapter. That fact was a little odd to come to grips with at first but after a while it ceased to bother me.
The ending was quite satisfactory. As I suspect most people do, I was well into the book and working to figure out who did the dirty deed right up to the end. What makes The Corruptible such an entertaining read is that there is a lot more going on than simply one case to solve. Just when I think I had it all figured out, Mr. Mynheir throws in another curve ball.
The plot of the story is well thought out and executed, as you might have gathered from my comments above. There is a large enough cast of characters to add depth to the story - and, of course, provide plenty of suspects. From vengeful ex-girlfriends to jealous competitors to violent bikers and many more, I believe it's very much the characters that drive The Corruptible. And Ray Quinn, the hero, leads the cast from the front. Quinn makes it all work. You're rooting for him by the end of the book - and in my eyes that means Mr. Mynheir has done his job well.
Honestly, I can't figure out if Mark Mynheir is an ex-cop or is still on the beat. I'm sure it's somewhere in the author's bio but it really doesn't matter. With over twenty years in law enforcement he brings a realism and dimension to The Corruptible that you just can't fake.
One other thing that struck me as different about The Corruptible - in a good way - is the locale. When I think about a gritty, detective-noir tale I can't help but think of Los Angeles in general and Hollywood in particular. I know stories like this have been staged all over the world but blame Chinatown, LA Confidential and others for putting it into my head that the city of the fallen angels is where this type of story should take place.
But The Corruptible takes place in, of all places, Orlando, Florida. We're thinking Mickey Mouse here but Detective Ray Quinn, a veteran of the Orlando Police Department and newly minted gumshoe, knows all about the darker side of life in this part of the Sunshine State - and it has nothing to do with any magic kingdoms.
For me, The Corruptible was an enjoyable, engaging departure into a genre where I don't spend much time. My opinion of the author grew exponentially as I realized he didn't rely on the typical shock tactics of bad language and sex to hook his readers. He did it the old fashioned way, with a good story, interesting characters and a colorful setting.
Here's looking at you, kid.
In order to comply with FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers (WMP) provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I would personally like to state that, to my knowledge, WMP does not restrict my review submissions based on whether I submit a negative or positive opinion, and that this is as fair and unbiased a review of The Corruptible as I can present after reading the novel from front to back. As someone with limited time to read and review books, I will state that I do as much as I can in advance to determine if the novel I choose to review will be - at least - something I find interesting to read.