The Gem Connection by Michael R Lane

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The Gem Connection by Michael R Lane

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 298 Date: April 2016
ISBN: 978-1634913560

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In the beginning, it was simple. C J Kavanaugh, formerly of the Drugs Enforcement Agency but now making a living as Private Investigator was employed to prove that a man was having an adulterous affair. Antonio Fahrletti had confounded half a dozen PIs who'd been unable to prove that he was being unfaithful to his wife, but CJ was determined to be the one who got the proof. Luck was on his side, but not, it would seem, on Fahrletti's. In the meantime Clinton Windell knew that luck was on his side: he'd brought home twenty million dollars of uncut gems. The board hadn't believed that he could do it and a large part of his pleasure was that he was proving them wrong.

Then it got complicated. His daughter seemed to be on her own in the house. Where was his wife, the babysitter, the butler? She seemed to be sound asleep, so Windell left the doll he'd brought her where she would see it when she woke and went to his bedroom to change. And that was where it got nasty. Two men shot him and left with the gems. After that it got very strange. An anonymous personage employed CJ and his partner Renita to establish who killed Clinton Windell, only he hadn't to tell anyone what he was doing. It was only the substantial sum of money deposited in his bank account and the promise of an even larger sum on completion that persuaded Clinton that the job was worth doing.

I don't normally go for Private Investigator stories, but I picked this book up 'to have a look' and the characters had me by the end of the first chapter. I liked CJ. He's not big on commitment, despite being absolutely smitten with his girlfriend, Destini Pendleton. She's keen to get married. CJ isn't. There are a couple of added complications though. CJ's partner, Renita, has feelings for CJ which are not exactly professional, but CJ's resisting temptation. And the other complication? Well, Destini is a homicide detective and she's currently investigating the murder of Clinton Windell. CJ doesn't like lying to her, but Destini isn't a detective for nothing.

It's a good plot too and nicely this side of too twisty to be believable. I loved the way that the complications just built up steadily, almost inevitably. There was no point at which I shook my head in disbelief - which is rare with this genre. There's usually a point at which a silly decision turns the plot and you know that no one in their right mind would have acted that way - but there's none of that in The Gem Connection. I read it over a couple of days and when I finished I knew that I'd be delighted to meet CJ and Renita again.

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If The Gem Connection appeals to you then we think you might also like Die A Little by Megan Abbott. We think you'll also enjoy Lane's collection of short stories.

You can read more about Michael R Lane here

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Buy The Gem Connection by Michael R Lane at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Gem Connection by Michael R Lane at


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