Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mystery Review: How To Kill Friends And Implicate People (Sam Ireland Mysteries #2) by Jay Stringer

How To Kill Friends And Implicate People  (Sam Ireland Mysteries #2)
by Jay Stringer
Released August 2, 2016

Fergus Fletcher is a hit man. For five thousand pounds, he’ll kill anyone you want. For seven, he’ll frame someone else. Pretending to kill someone is a first, but Alex Pennan has stolen from the mob and needs to fake his own death.

Fergus is looking for love. So is Sam Ireland, a private investigator and part-time bike messenger. But she’s got her hands on a very important package and is in a world of trouble with the mob. Joe Pepper, pillar of society and corrupt gangland fixer, will stop at nothing—nothing at all—to intercept the package and protect his reputation.

Can Alex stay dead while his widow dances on his grave? Can Joe save himself before his stomach ulcer explodes? Can Fergus and Sam make it to a second date before Joe hires him to kill her?

Welcome to Glasgow. It’s a love story.

My Review:
How to Kill Friends and Implicate people is, thankfully, not an actual ‘how to’ book.  Instead it’s a delightful thriller/romantic comedy. Told from various perspectives, this story is about a couple of plots gone wrong, a murder, a not quite murder, and the very scary world of online dating.

What I love most about this story is that it is truly funny while still being a great thriller. There’s some dark stuff happening, but through it all, we have the cute texts, the excellent timing, and the little details that just make this a delight.

I also enjoyed how the accents are built in. Since much of the story is first person (though the Alex chapters are third), the characters’ accents are built into their narratives. I think the author did a fine job of adding just enough of that to help the reader ‘hear’ it in their head, but not so much that it’s annoying or distracting.

I noticed backstory bits sprinkled in throughout the book and put two and two together: this is a sequel. Yeah, I guess I wasn’t paying attention when I picked this up. But, good news is that it’s enough, and the author doesn’t rely on the readers having read that first book to learn the characters in this one.

Overall, I loved this story because it was both thrilling and a lot of fun. I highly recommend this to folks who like thrills, action and a bit of romance.

I picked up the review copy of this book from NetGalley.

About the Author:
Jay Stringer was born in 1980, and he’s not dead yet.

He’s English by birth and Scottish by rumour; born in the Black Country, and claiming Glasgow as his hometown.

Jay is dyslexic, and came to the written word as a second language, via comic books, music, and comedy. He writes hard boiled crime stories, dark comedies, and social fiction.

His first three books, the Eoin Miller Trilogy explored the political and criminal landscape of the West Midlands.

He now writes books set in Glasgow and New York.

Jay won a gold medal in the Antwerp Olympics of 1920. He did not compete in the Helsinki Olympics of 1952, that was some other guy.

Jay is represented by Stacia Decker at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

Author Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4469744.Jay_Stringer
Twitter: @JayStringer

Interested? Here are links to both books in this series.  Good stuff. :-)