Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Prospect by Wayne Zurl

A New Prospect is a new Sam Jenkins murder mystery series.

Sam Jenkins is a retired cop from New York, however, after the local sheriff in Prospect, Tennessee is arrested for gun smuggling, Sam decides its time to get back to work.  After applying for the job, the mayor, Ronnie Shield, accepts Sam's proposal and his new job begins.  After introducing himself to his new staff and shoving his way past annoying secretaries, we come to learn the grit that makes Sam Jenkins who he is.

When Cecil Lovejoy, rich, arrogant and down right rude, is murdered, there is little love loss between the town and his murder.  However, its up to Sam to find out the truth behind his death.  When Sam's best friend becomes the number one suspect and Cecil's widow, Pearl, puts the pressure on Sam and his division, she goes outside his jurisdiction and uses her political influence to machinate his case.  Feeling his way through all the antagonists in the case, Sam must use all his knowledge to make sure he doesn't punish the wrong person.  With time ticking and pressure building, will Sam find his man or woman, before the justice system fails and the real culprit gets away?

I was quite impressed with the character of Sam, I liked his gritty, no-nonsense approach to his dealings with people and situations.  I liked his friendly, comedic nature but was quite unimpressed with his thoughts on the "good-looking" women he comes in contact with.  Though he is "happily" married, it doesn't stop his thoughts from straying, and, in my honest opinion, this is cheating.  I found these passages disgusting to read, and unworthy of a character such as, Sam Jenkins.

I loved the intrigue and twists and turns involved, wrapping everything full circle and the plot didn't leave you with more questions than answers.  I also found the back stories to be an integral part of the story, they gave insight into Sam's character that is needed to add more ambiance to Sam's presence.  I didn't like the southern twang that some of the characters had, I don't know why authors feel the need to write this into their stories, accents seldom work when your reading them.  I think its enough to know that a character has a thick southern accent and leave the reader to "hear" it for themselves.

A New Prospect is a great mystery read from author, Wayne Zurl and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a fast-paced, gripping, often comedic approach to a down-home southern murder.

SYNOPSIS:
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.

 ** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **