Review: A New Prospect by Wayne ZurlA New Prospect by Wayne Zurl

1. Why I chose this book

When I was contacted about the tour for A New Prospect by Wayne Zurl, I jumped at the chance to review it.

Finding a killer in a small Appalachian community doesn’t look that difficult to gritty ex-New York Detective Lieutenant Sam Jenkins. Adjusting to the culture of rural Tennessee , dealing with shady politicians, powerful rich families, and colorful residents, makes Sam feel like a fish out of water, or a cop out of bourbon.

I read and enjoy a variety of mysteries, but it was the Appalachian setting that really drew my attention. It’s one of my soft spots.

2. Reasons I liked the book

This is a mystery at heart. Who killed Cecil Lovejoy? Granted, the man was a horrible, nasty person and the murderer was probably doing the world a favor, but the suspect list is long and Sam is not getting much help form the deceased’s family or the local politicians. The plot was well-done, with plenty of possibilities and clues. I wasn’t surprised by the ending, but it was not a conventional mystery ending.

The characters really made the story shine. Sam’s  a good, honest reliable guy and I like the way he interracts with the others on the force. He respects them, but the banter’s good too. It feels real. His wife is supportive and they truly like each other, joke around, enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes, Sam is a little too witty in my opinion. He’s always trying to be amusing, it seems, but overall he’s a good character. I felt like I got to know him as a person, not just the cop in charge of the case. The locals are perfect too. You’ve got the good old boys political network, the rich folk who are used to having their way. Sam’s a crink in their system,with unconventional methods and a determination to do his job.

Some of the dialogue is written with a Southern drawl. It didn’t bother me, but I can see where it could others.

3.  Reasons I am recommending this book

It’s a rather light police procedural, no blood, no real danger. But it’s a good read. And there were bits that were downright funny, a couple I even had to read out loud to my husband.

Purchase at Amazon (the Kindle version is only 1.99) or an Indie bookstore.

4 out of 5 stars

Category: Mystery & Detective – Police Procedural

276 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by Black Rose Writing

Book source: Review copy

About Wayne Zurl

Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators.
He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves.
Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara—not far from Prospect PD.


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