KidNAP, Inc. by J.T. Lewis

kidNAP Inc. (A Nick Behr Mystery Book 1)kidNAP Inc. by J.T. Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nick is a crazy detective, suffering from a brain injury incurred on the job. He returns from a stint of recovery in the desert to his Indiana sheriff’s department accompanied by two hallucinatory friends: Trucker, a good ol’ boy who wants to kick ass, and Alix, a horny purple-haired punk rocker girl who has other things in mind for people’s asses. I can’t really say I liked this book, but it had its moments. I only wish it didn’t have so many really irritating aspects, too.

Let’s start with the sex and cursing. Okay, this is a mystery and we expect some of that, but the sheer quantity of both sticks in the craw after a while. The sex was voluminous and gratuitous but at least it wasn’t crude like I’ve seen in all too many mysteries. The same could be said for the swearing. There was too much of it, but it wasn’t particularly offensive. Then there’s the constant giggling. Why is everyone giggling all the time? As for plausibility, well, you really think a hallucinating detective would be put back on the force? And his ex-wife jumps his bones every time she sees him. Really? A really smoking hot, horny ex-wife who can’t get laid for six months while Nick is in the desert? Where’d she hang out – a nunnery? And how many ex-wives do you know who are constantly begging for more sex from their ex? I don’t have any ex-wives, but I know some and their attitudes toward the ex-husbands are less than affectionate, shall we say.

The plot is actually pretty decent, what little time is spent on it. Some would-be models get kidnapped and some of them turn up dead. I won’t spoil the rest. The crimes, although not plausible, are at least original. The author evens sticks mostly to reasonable police procedure despite the sheriff being a farcical stereotype. As a retired FBI agent that’s often a bugaboo for me when authors don’t.

When he’s not filling the page with cursing or sex the author writes quite well, with wit and good flow, even good grammar. I was disappointed when about halfway through it became obvious he’d gotten tired of proofreading and errors began to creep in, especially wrong-word errors: “on his heals” [heels]; “wanted her for desert” [dessert]; “the grow of the truck engine” [growl]; “quite your whining” [quit]; “candidness” [candor]. I won’t list the grammar errors that started showing up. Sure, some of these are typos, but they still should have been caught. Even so, overall there are fewer such errors than in the typical self-published novel. Most readers don’t mind these anyway, I’ve found.

Near the end the FBI gets pretty harsh treatment and some of my regular readers may think my criticism is motivated by that, but I had already decided on my star ratings (2 on Goodreads, 3 on Amazon and my blog) and pretty much written the review in my head before I came to that. Most police-centered mysteries do the same and I’m used to it. I’ve even done it myself in my own books.

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