Thursday, June 11, 2015

Unidentified Woman #15 by David Housewright

First Sentence:  It was snowing heavily when they rolled the girl off the back of the pickup onto the freeway.
Driving in a blizzard is always hazardous, but Rushmore McKenzie and his partner Nina didn’t expect to have a naked, bound woman dumped out of a pickup in front of their car.  Although he rescues her, it does result in a massive pile-up.  Taken to the hospital, the woman is suffering from amnesia and given the sobriquet of “unidentified woman #15” by the police.  McKenzie’s former partner and friend ask for help identifying her.  When she steals money and five guns from him, it’s clear she may not be such a victim after all.
Housewright has a style that captures you from the start.  His descriptions put you in the scene and in the middle of the action.  His voice and expressions are a perfect reflection of an ex-cop.  However, one also can appreciate his quoting Sherlock Holmes.
Housewright creates a strong sense of place… ”Beyond that, it was like any other middle-class suburb you’ve ever driven through, houses with all the personality of paper cups set in orderly rows.”…by providing both enough information, and sometimes history, that you have a real sense of the location, but not so much as to slow down the flow of the story.   However, it is also interesting to learn about the types of amnesia and how they differ, as well as about styles of shoplifting.  For those who believe in “buy American,” it’s nice to see McKenzie uses Chicago Cutlery knives. 
McKenzie is an appealing protagonist with an interesting internal dialogue…”as far as I was concerned, anyone who carried a concealed weapon who wasn’t involved in some manner of law enforcement or security was an asshole.  There were no exceptions—myself included.”  There is a wonderful relationship between him and this lover Nina providing both excellent dialogue and details of mouth-watering food…”Dinner was pan-seared scallops with a bean and pancetta ragù…”
Unidentified Woman #15” is a fast-paced, exciting read with plenty of action and some great characters.  It is your perfect weekend/travel book.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #15 (Lic Invest-Rushmore McKenzie – Twin Cities-Contemp) – VG
Housewright, David – 12th in series
Minotaur Books – June 2015

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