Making my way through the Dan Fortune series and while I’m not sure “Dennis Lynds” (Michael Collins’ pen name for these books) is going to improve these like I initially hoped he would after greatly enjoying book one, he’s at least showing signs that he can grow.
This is thematically similar to the other Dan Fortune novels I’ve read, and the Lew Archer ones the series inspired: the private eye gets involved in the nefarious deeds of a well-off family and has to untangle them. Unfulfilled desire is usually a catalyst for this. Only this time, the mob is involved (as it was in the first book in the series) and Collins layers the plot more than usual. The three-part act is the first to be broken down like that in the series initial six.
Handling the plot in that way, shifting the story over multiple months, trusting the reader to stay with the timeline shows narrative improvement. I was able to keep up with the story spreading over time and while the plot gets a little too complex for a paperback potboiler, Collins is able to bring it home okay even if I found the revelation of the killer to be predictable.
There’s not much more too add here because aside from those small flourishes, this is similar to every other Dan Fortune book I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed all of them to a degree, this slightly more than most. As an ersatz Archer series, it functions well for the diehard Archer fan in me. Your mileage may vary.