Shooting in the Dark – a review
I just found this on Amazon.com:
Shooting in the Dark by John Baker. A Delicious PI, Quirky cohorts, Damsel in Distress, Evil Stalker, it’s All Here.
Sam Turner has done battle with demon rum and won. Unlike other hard-boiled PIs, Sam is drinking water when that beautiful dame walks into his office. He has beat back the drink and set up his own detective agency with a good cast of quirky characters, who are: Celia, the retired seventy-something Quaker schoolteacher, who has discovered fashion; Marie, the wife of his dead partner; Geordie, who he saved from the streets; and the newest addition, JD Pears, a musician writer who wants to learn about the PI biz so he can better write about it. Celia, Marie and Geordie have been with Sam awhile and they have formed a kind of loyalty to him and to each other. The only thing missing in Sam’s life is that special someone.
Then one day, as he’s siting in his office, Celia sends in Angeles Falco, a girl in trouble who needs help. Angeles is beautiful, would tug at any man’s heart strings. She is also blind. She tells Sam she and her sister Isabel are being stalked. Shortly thereafter Isobel’s body is found on the moor, murdered. The police don’t believe the stalker story and focus on Isabel’s lover as their chief suspect.
Angeles is in real danger from a chilling man who calls himself the Watchman. Sam doesn’t know this yet, but he knows someone is after her, so he has her stay with him, so he can offer the best protection possible. And, of course, Sam starts feeling attracted to this lovely damsel in distress, so now he has personal reasons for wanting her safe.
Mr. Baker takes us not only into Sam’s mind, but into the mind of the Watchman as well and that’s not a nice place. The horror level, like a rising tide, goes up, chapter after chapter, as does the suspense. Mr. Baker has a first class PI in Sam Turner, his cohorts are interesting and fun to read about, his villain here is as despicable as they come. I don’t know why John Baker isn’t more poplar in America. He should be, and you should pick up this book if you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by Vesta Irene
I still have a few signed first-edition hardback copies of this novel, published by Orion in the UK, which make really good Christmas or Birthday gifts at £10.00 each.
JB – chief salesman