John Cuddy's heart is buried in a cemetery overlooking Boston harbor. His wife, Beth, fought her cancer for nearly a year, and when she died Cuddy gave up his morning runs in favor of nightly benders. Two months after her death, he is forced out of his job as an insurance investigator when he refuses to sign his name to a phony claim. Now he is filing for unemployment, cutting back on his drinking, and attempting to become a private eye.
His first real case comes in the form of Valerie Jacobs, a junior high teacher who was friends with his wife, Beth. Her star pupil, the son of a Massachusetts judge, has vanished, and the local police have no leads. To make his name as a detective, Cuddy searches for a boy who's too smart to be found, and whose father would prefer his son never return.
Blunt Darts is a Shamus Award Nominee for Best First Private Eye Novel of the Year.
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Reader is not right for it
I don't know. It is a matter of personal taste,
No, but only because of the narration.
I am not going to finish the book. The writing isn't top notch but since I won't get beyond the third chapter I will, in fairness, give the text 3 stars. The problem is the reader, Andy Caploe. Listen to him doing something other than the Cuddy series and he's not bad. And by his other credits he appears to be a very successful professional. But it is painful to hear his caricatures in the story. And unfortunately it starts with the lead character/narrator in the story. His broad BostonMA accent for Cuddy might be tolerable if it weren't mixed with the occasional Long Island nasel, which is to say the voice isn't a solidly consistent portrayal. It is a distraction. The female voices are almost cartoonish. And that's really the problem. His reading has a simple, unappealing quality between cartoon and private-eye-cliche. I had wanted to give Jeremiah Healy stories a try, starting with the first in the series. But since Caploe had recorded all of the Healy volumes it ends here.