Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Dark Sleep by P.N. Elrod

When it looks as if Jack's long time girlfriend, Bobbi, may get an opportunity to impress some folks with Hollywood connections, he has mixed feelings. He loves her and wants her to succeed, but can hardly bear the thought of losing her to tinseltown. When one of them, a radio show host named Archy Grant gives her an opportunity to appear on his show, but there are some sexual strings attached, his feelings are not in doubt at all. Bobbi can be trusted not to fall for such enticements, and will probably be the one who plays rather than getting played, but Jack must resist the temptation to do something drastic about Archy's attentions.

Jack and Charles Escott are involved at the same time with attempting to recover some writings (they think they are love letters) that a wealthy socialite wants her former low brow lover to return, before they become an embarassment and derail her wedding to a foreign prince charming. The twist this subplot takes at the end is simply marvelous.

The main plot also takes an odd twist or two, as we finally get to learn about some of Escott's personal demons. I am starting to get a little irritated about how Jack never seems to keep an eye out for people sneaking up on him with a club, cosh, or cane. For someone who is able to hear the changes in the heartbeat of a blackjack dealer and get an advantage on the house odds, he is curiously unable to notice the heartbeat of someone who is pumped full of adrenaline and about to whack him on the head.

Another decent read from Elrod.

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