Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Cult of Koo Kway, by Jay Mims

While this is not my normal choice of genre for reading, I found this book to be highly enjoyable.  I think it might have been the title that threw me for a loop, but once I got a little ways into the book, all was revealed. 

The Cult of Koo Kway starts by introducing the reader to Dan Landis, a private investigator, who lives by a certain code: No one needs to know what kind of vehicle he has or where he lives.  These two rules keep him safe in his line of work.  His sister is one of the best attorneys in the area and is married to one of the best detectives in the same area, but their connection to each other cannot be revealed due to the criminals who employ her.  The story begins with a somewhat confusing meeting between these three people, in which they find the room is bugged and they must speak in code.  This scene was actually one of my favorites because of the ease that the characters were able to understand what the other was intending.

After this point in the book, the story becomes a quick, action-packed ride of Dan’s sarcastic wit and his propensity for getting stuck in awkward situations.  We meet Abbey at an early point in the story, and she is his backup for a meeting with a target.  Once we meet Abbey, the story seems to take on a different role because it’s almost as if the reader is thrust back in time to when they first met.  This is the part of the book that rocks your world, from a failed kidnapping, an attempt to drive a car over both of them, and a deadly drug that is killing people; these two characters can’t seem to catch a break throughout the entire book.  The hits keep coming and somehow they manage to keep going.

Like I said, this book was a tad bit hard to follow at times because the time frame of events seemed to jump around a little bit.  The transition at the beginning between present and past was not as smooth as I would have liked, and I was able to follow along pretty well, so please don’t get discouraged by my lack of ability to follow the timeline.  I enjoyed the idea behind the story and the thrill ride that it took me on.  As I said, this is not my normal genre of reading, so I was not fully prepared for what I was about to read.  I think the book is wonderful and I would definitely love to read the next one because there are so many questions that I have after finishing this book.  I want to know more because the story is just that good.  

Excerpt from The Cult of Koo Kway:
          "This is a bad idea, Dan’s little voice said. He nodded in agreement. The door shut behind him, and he continued walking into the bar. It was full. Way too full. You never want to confront someone in a full bar. Too many witnesses, too many participants, too much trouble. Which was why he picked three in the afternoon, on a Wednesday. Go figure. With only three days until New Years, apparently everyone wanted to get their drunk on before the big rush.
            Thankfully the music continued to play. He hated clichés. No one turned to watch him enter. The bar was full of men. Manly men who could beat a scrawny little pipsqueak like Dan senseless without even breathing hard. Even the bar’s lone woman looked like she could bench press a Volvo.
            The place was called Taps, but with a Z for flavor.
            He imagined that flavor was bourbon as he headed for the bartender. He took in the place without looking around. It was a cultivated instinct. Observation was an important tool for private investigators, and since a career with the Rockettes hadn’t worked out, he had gotten very good at being a P.I.
            And this is completely insane, his little voice reminded him.
            Hey, he thought, insane is what I do.
            Tapz was a little hole in the wall on the west side, six blocks up from the docks. There were a dozen or so warehouses, streets that would do a ghost town proud, and an army of rusting cranes. The economic downturn had hit this town hard. He wondered if everyone was in here to toast the good times of backbreaking work and lousy hours. It was as blue collar as a bar could get, and as cheerful as a tax audit.
            So why, his little voice asked, is HE in here?
            Dan kept one eye on his mark, not daring to relax for a second. He kept his back to the room and his eyes on the big mirror. The guy was big and beefy, with straw blond hair and a heavy duster jacket.
Well, Dan offered, armed robbery is technically a blue collar job. He adjusted the sleeve of his flannel shirt. Flannel and jeans had been a good call. It was apparently the unofficial dress code. The place was like a sea of corduroy.
               He was the youngest person here by a good twenty years. He took a seat on the stool. There was no cushion, and the wood was cold.
               His steel toed boot scraped the sawdust on the floor. Between the boots and the weighted gloves he had on, he figured that his chances of getting out alive were 50/50.
               He looked down the bar at his target.
               The man called Tex was still nursing his beer. His real name was Mortimer Hasselberg, though no one dared call him that. As far as Dan knew, Mama Hasselberg was the only one who called him Mortimer. Tex was big, beefy, and dangerous.
               The big man normally stuck to armed robbery, and always carried twin pearl handled six-shooters.  It was the pistols that had earned him his nickname. That and the ten-gallon hat he always wore. The hat was on the bar and the gold braiding around the brim glittered in the bar’s bright lights.
               The lights also showcased Mortimer’s receding hairline, the forehead gleaming. The man’s face was flush, sweat turning his blond hair black. His shoulders were drooping. Tex had obviously been here a while.
               Dan breathed a sigh of relief. Drunks were easier to handle, especially if it came down to a fight. Drunks could be vicious, but they were also stupid. And he didn’t plan on fighting fair."

Jay Mims lives about two miles past nowhere, after you turn off the paved road. When he's not catching up on episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King he writes, mainly to stave off boredom. In addition to somewhat eclectic tastes in television and movies, Jay reads voraciously.
He enjoys compelling stories with strong characters, and will gladly read anything from comic books to Steam Punk, Harlequin romance to Kenneth C. Davis' fantastic history books. Jay enjoys long walks through the countryside, laughing with friends, and learning to draw something better than stick figures.
His dearest ambition is to personally thank Janet Evanovich for proving that fast talking characters can be charming and goofy simultaneously.

You can purchase his books at: Smashwords / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble Stalker Links: Facebook / Goodreads

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