Pocket-47 (420 pages, Oceanview Publishing, $24.95) features Nicholas Colt, a private eye who lives in an old airstream trailer in rural Florida. He’s had a rough life, not least of which included a plane crash that killed his wife and daughter. At that time, he was a rock musician. But now he’s simply trying to make ends meet by doing the work of a private investigator.
In this novel, Nicolas is deeply moved when he is asked to find a high school student who has disappeared. The older sister of the girl is the person who approaches him. Nicholas remembers his own daughter, and agrees to do this project for far less than his usual fee.
It isn’t too hard to find the missing girl, Brittany. She’s hiding with an arrogant pimp, who bashes Nicholas as he tries to chase her. Nicholas finally catches her and manages to spend some time with her. She is a smart and smart-ass teenager, but he likes her and feels enough fatherly affection to want to save her. She has other ideas, escaping from Nicholas and keeping her distance.
The story gets more and more complicated, and as it does, Nicholas Colt gets bashed and beaten at every turn. Jude Hardin seems to enjoy putting him through it, and only occasionally does he offer his long-suffering hero a little down time with his girlfriend, who is not such an easy alternative to the seething bad guys.
When it turns out that Brittany has been carried off in a sort of militaristic cult, Nicholas figures out a way to infiltrate the compound. There is more physical endurance for the hero, but he manages to do what he needs to do.
The novel has a certain energy, and some readers will enjoy this hero. I can’t say that I was won over, and I don’t think I’ll read the second novel in this series, at least not now.