Top critical review
Another step for character
Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2021
This the second book in what will probably be an ongoing series of Archer books sets the tone for what most likely to follow. Baldacci is attempting to write in the LA Noir form. Set in 1949, in a fictional CA town on the coast between LA and San Francisco has Archer beginning a career as a Private Eye. Hardly an original plot nor are any of the characters who seemed to have previous incarnations in China Town, Sam Spade or others of this noir.
Baldacci, a good writer is learning on the job with this format and quite obviously is using this book as one that will continue. In LA I suspect. He has not yet learned to capture the specula aura the time and conditions of that captivating era that has been captured successfully by other mystery writers . I was ready to close the book and give it one or two stars after I was about 15-20% into it. However, as a Baldacci fan I hung in, enjoyed the book more than I anticipated, allowing me to give it 3 stars hoping for improvement in the next episode.