When reviewing books for publishing companies, I primarily select nonfiction. This time, for a change, I chose a book I normally would not have considered: a murder mystery. I must confess that it was a pleasant novelty to simply sit back and read purely for entertainment without necessarily “improving myself.” The book I chose, “The Corruptible” by Mark Mynheir, was pure dessert. Not something you want to make a complete diet out of but just that piece of chocolate after a healthy dinner. Something one can curl up with, relax and decompress at the end of a long, tiring day.
I enjoyed “The Corruptible” because it had all the right ingredients to make an interesting mystery. Each chapter was relatively short but provoking enough to propel you into the next chapter. It kept me going to the very end because I really wanted to know how everything was going to fall into place.
“The Corruptible” is one of a series of mystery stories by Mark Mynheir about Ray Quinn. I haven't read any of the other books in the series but in this book Quinn has retired from the police force and is currently working as a private investigator. Quinn is a hardened former narcotics undercover cop who has a jaded view on life. The fact that his retirement from the police was enforced by a shoot out that left him crippled and in constant pain hasn't lightened his outlook any.
So Quinn is now trying to make it as a private investigator. He has a sidekick, Crevis, who is training to get accepted into the police academy. Crevis is physically and mentally qualified for the Academy but has failed the written test a couple of times due to a deprived family background and a learning disability (he's dyslexic).
To further complicate his life (Quinn's), Crevis is being tutored by Pam, a woman who is forever grateful to Quinn for clearing her murdered brother's name in a previous case. The gratitude doesn't bother him so much as the fact that Pam keeps insisting on praying for him. She even asks to pray with him- something that, as an agnostic, Quinn is not inclined to do. He has more faith in his close companion, Jim Beam. (That's a whiskey for all of you that aren't from the South). Old Jim helps Quinn forget the chronic pain from a leg that's held together by nuts and bolts. Still, even though Quinn doesn't want to admit it, he likes that fact that a smart, attractive woman cares about him even if he hides those feelings under a gruff and sarcastic exterior.
Quinn is hired by a big wig CEO to track a worker who took off with some highly classified files. These files hold personal information about clients that could compromise their security if made public.
Typical formula. Someone steals something, someone ends up dead-read to the last chapter to see who did it.
What makes this story interesting is watching Quinn in action as he methodically works with forensics teams, the police department, SWAT team and one by one ticks off every possible suspect until he gradually puts each piece of the puzzle together and the whole picture materializes.
Mynheir worked as an undercover narcotics agent, SWAT team member and recently retired as a detective from the Criminal Investigations Unit in Central Florida (where his stories take place) which explains his thorough attention to the details involved in a murder investigation. His personal experience is not only his source of inspiration but allows him to be his own technical adviser. (For more information on Mynheir go to http://www.copwriter.com/)
One negative: On a couple of occasions (and they were rare) Mynheir uses what I would call “soft” swear words. Not everyone would agree with me about that but the words are unarguably vulgar and he could have left them out and nobody would have missed them. My objection to these words is that I do not like hearing them and I certainly choose not to use them but when I read them in a book, I have been forced to mentally speak them. Since the author is a Christian writing from a Christian perspective I think that he would do well to discard any profane speech. (Ephesians 5:4 )
One last negative: Mynheir uses the word, “smirk” too much. Everybody smirks. Mr. Mynheir, sir, please get a thesaurus and exchange some of those “smirks” for an equally effective but different descriptive word. (Mr. Mynheir, if you're actually reading this I hope you're not offended. Remember Proverbs 9:7-12)
On a positive note: Mynheir does not paint a pretty picture of life as a cop and the world they are exposed to. His protagonist Quinn is every bit as cynical about life as your average cop would be without any faith in God. The only Christian in the book is Pam and she hardly comes into play at all. When she does enter into a scene, however, her faith throws into sharp relief the darkness that it penetrates. Mynheir presents an honest Christian witness without being preachy or manipulating the story so that everything “comes out all right in the end.” Every character is believable.
Another positive note: Unlike most murder mysteries that use the corpse as a stage prop by which to build a story, Mynheir's murder victim was somebody with a multifaceted personality. Someone to have compassion on, whose death is mourned by the characters in the book and also by the reader.
So with the positives outweighing the negatives my verdict is if you need a good, entertaining read before turning out the light, “The Corruptible” will fit the bill.
This book was given to me by Blogging for Books. in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy the book please do so through my link below so I can receive a small percentage of the cost. Thanks!
Please take the time to rank this review, thanks!!