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Friday, April 1, 2011

Review - A New Prospect by Wayne Zurl

Title: A New Prospect

Author: Wayne Zurl

Publisher: Black Rose Publishing

Buy A New Prospect here

Rating: You Need/Gotta Read

Reviewer: Val

Sam Jenkins never thought about being a fish out of water during the twenty years he spent solving crimes in New York. But things change, and after retiring to Tennessee, he gets that feeling. Jenkins becomes a cop again and is thrown headlong into a murder investigation and a steaming kettle of fish, down-home style. The victim, Cecil Lovejoy, couldn't have deserved it more. His death was the inexorable result of years misspent and appears to be no great loss, except the prime suspect is Sam's personal friend. Jenkins' abilities are attacked when Lovejoy's influential widow urges politicians to reassign the case to state investigators. Feeling like "a pork chop at a bar mitzvah" in his new workplace, Sam suspects something isn't kosher when the family tries to force him out of the picture. In true Jenkins style, Sam turns common police practice on its ear to insure an innocent man doesn't fall prey to an imperfect system and the guilty party receives appropriate justice. A NEW PROSPECT takes the reader through a New South resolutely clinging to its past and traditional way of keeping family business strictly within the family.

Sam Jenkins has just become a favorite character of mine. I generally have a weakness for cops but Sam is not your ordinary hero. He's older married man who takes a job in Prospect, Tennessee, which is your typical small town USA. The banter between he and his officers made me laugh. The character development throughout the book was very strong. By the end of the book, I felt as though Sam were a friend of mine. I really wish there had been more scenes with his interaction with his wife. She was one very funny secondary character.

What a very unusual and fascinating read. First let me say, I don't think I've ever given a Need/Gotta Read rating before. The only thing that gave it the "Need" part of the rating was the southern twang given to some of the characters, which was slightly distracting. I am from the South so don't get me wrong, I do have a twang, but the way some of the characters spoke was not very believable. While some of the book was heavy laden with this particular southern drawl, other parts were very convincing as just certain words were drawn out. That being said, the rest of the book was outstanding! Brimming with countless suspects, I was trying to figure out the killer from the very beginning. The plot line was phenomenal and I loved that this story put a spin on a situation that wasn't all that it seemed to be. Mr. Zurl presents a situation that we, as a society, are conditioned to accept as an offense, in a different light. I don't want to give away any of the ending but it's a really juicy ending.

This is the first time I've ever read something from Wayne Zurl. I was so impressed by his work that I did a Google Search for his website and was shocked to find that A New Prospect was just one of many books that feature the main character of Sam Jenkins as a police officer in Prospect, Tennessee. This is one reader who will definitely be checking out his other books. If you love a good suspense, I highly recommend you A New Prospect. It's a book that you don't want to miss.

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