I have a really awesome murder mystery book for you that will sometimes bring you a few chuckles along with the unnecessary murder of a few people along the way. It's called Second Watch written by J.A. Jance.
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: 9/10/13
Number of Pages: 368
With Second Watch, New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance delivers another thought-provoking novel of suspense starring Seattle investigator J. P. Beaumont.Chapter 1 Excerpt:
Second Watch shows Beaumont taking some time off to get knee replacement surgery, but instead of taking his mind off work, the operation plunges him into one of the most perplexing mysteries he's ever faced.His past collides with his present in this complex and thrilling story that explores loss and heartbreak, duty and honor, and, most importantly, the staggering cost of war and the debts we owe those who served in the Vietnam War, and those in uniform today.
Except she wasn't. When I opened my eyes again, that was the first thing I noticed. The second one was that I was “feeling no pain,” as they say, so the drugs were evidently doing what they were supposed to do.There is more to Chapter 1 but I decided to cut it short to save space and because I wanted to give my take on the book. I figured between the Synopsis and Chapter 1, what would be the point of me saying anything?
I was apparently in the recovery room. Nurses in flowery scrubs hovered in the background. I could hear their voices, but they were strangely muted, as if somebody had turned the volume way down. As far as my own ability to speak? Forget it. Someone had pushed my mute button; I couldn’t say a single word.
In the foreground, a youngish woman sat on a tall rolling stool at the side of the bed. My initial assumption was that my daughter, Kelly, had arrived from her home in southern Oregon. I had told her not to bother coming all the way from Ashland to Seattle on the occasion of my knee- replacement surgery. In fact, I had issued a fatherly decree to that effect, insisting that Mel and I would be fine on our own. Unfortunately, Kelly is her mother’s daughter, which is to say she is also headstrong as hell. Since when did she ever listen to a word I said?
So there Kelly sat as big as life, whether I had wanted her at the hospital or not. She wore a crimson-and- g ray WSU sweatshirt. A curtain of long blond hair shielded her face from my view while she studiously filed her nails— nails that were covered with bright red polish.
Having just been through several hours of major surgery, I think I could be forgiven for being a little slow on the uptake, but eventually I realized that none of this added up. Even to my drug- befuddled brain, it didn’t make sense.
Kelly and I have had our share of issues over the years. The most serious of those involved her getting pregnant while she was still a senior in high school and running off to Ashland to meet up with and eventually marry her boyfriend, a wannabe actor named Jeff. Of course, the two of them have been a couple for years, and my son- in- law is now one of the well- established members of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
The OSF offers a dozen or so plays a year, playing in repertory for months at a time, and Jeff Cartwright has certainly paid his dues. After years of learning his trade by playing minor roles as a sword- wielding soldier in one Shakespearian production after another or singing and occasionally tap dancing as a member of the chorus, he finally graduated to speaking roles. This year he was cast as Laertes in Hamlet in the Elizabethan theater and, for the first time ever in a leading role, he played Brick in the Festival’s retrospective production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the Bowmer Theatre. (I thought he did an excellent job, but I may be slightly prejudiced. The visiting theater critic for the Seattle Times had a somewhat different opinion.)
It was September, and the season was starting to wind down, but there was no way for Jeff to get away long enough to come up to Seattle for a visit, no matter how brief, and with Kayla and Kyle, my grandkids, back in school, in fourth and first grade, respectively, it didn’t seem like a good time for Kelly to come gallivanting to Seattle with or without them in tow just to hover at my sickbed.
I really loved this book! It is sort of like one of those old time gumshoe detective books where the cop really takes the time to listen and to do the WORK! I know, it's a strange concept, doing the work, but there you have it. It's like that in most professions, if you put in the hard work, it will eventually pay off and the good thing about Beaumont is that things gnaw at him until he figures out what it is.
I also loved the reference to the knee replacements as both of mine have been replaced, although, not at the same time like in the story. I don't know about doing them both at the same time, and it's just a story, but wow, that would really take courage!
The story is interesting and has several different angles and there are enough people in and out of Beaumont's life to make the side stories great to read and to get to know him.