Flat Spin (Cordell Logan Mysteries #1) by David Freed (The Permanent Press, 2012, 300pp.)
“There’s an old maxim among warriors,” Flat Spin’s hero, Cordell Logan, informs us. “ ‘Trust me with your life, never your money or your wife.’ ” A former member of an elite black ops team, our protagonist was unfortunate enough to fall victim to this saying when his best friend and fellow soldier, Arlo Echevarria, stole his wife, Savannah. Now retired, Logan spends his days giving flying lessons to clueless college students and trying to scrape up enough money to pay the rent.
Things haven’t been going so well for his old pal Echevarria either - especially not since someone gunned him down in the entryway of his own home. And although Logan could honestly care less about bringing Arlo’s killer to justice, his unfaithful ex, Savannah, reappears in his life to pester him into solving the murder.
I have to say, what really makes this novel is its wise-cracking narrator. Although he’s a semi-practicing Buddhist (he does fall off the wagon now and again), Logan manages to aggravate everyone - from the police investigating Echevarria’s murder, to his well-meaning ex-wife. While the simmering tensions between Logan and Savannah border on the tedious, it’s overall a good mystery, and interesting enough to keep the reader turning pages to the end.
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