Shooting Messengers, Kevin Berry
A most unexpected combination of noir and comic/cartoonish stylings, SHOOTING MESSENGERS is the opening salvo in a series tagged as Quake City Investigations. Launching pretty well straight into the action, readers are introduced to two main investigating characters - PI Danny Ashford and Investigative reporter Deepa Banwait who find themselves working together to solve what looks like a random serial killer - although all of the victims are postal workers or couriers (hence SHOOTING MESSENGERS).
I have to admit that at the start of this novel I really had absolutely no idea what was going on, and the mix of such unusual stylings was ... well unexpected ... to say the least. But the banter between the two main characters, and the intrigue of a random serial killer really worked, as did the idea that Deepa was after a story and Danny was there to help her do that.
At points SHOOTING MESSENGERS even veered slightly towards psychological thriller, all these "types" interwoven with some dryly funny humour, and some slightly daft location naming, feeding into the slight cartoonish overlay. The only downside was a few leaps in the narrative that really took some gymnastics to vault over, but all in all this was a most unexpected, and extremely enjoyable opening gambit in something that's hopefully intended to build into a series. If nothing else, it was remarkedly different from anything else I've read recently.
What if delivering the mail was a matter of life and death?
Somebody brutally kills a postman in Quake City while he’s delivering the mail.
Private investigator Danny Ashford suspects the police will bungle the investigation—they usually do. He joins forces with headstrong investigative reporter Deepa Banwait to track down the killer.
But when a second murder follows close on the heels of the first, with a similar MO, Danny suspects a dangerous serial killer is at work.
How do you catch a serial killer who strikes seemingly at random?
Is it random, though? Danny and Deepa have their theories. But they have to find a way to work together to track down the fiend with a vendetta against postal workers and couriers before he or she strikes again. And they might succeed, if only they could stop arguing… but with Danny’s overconfidence and Deepa’s driving quest for a story, what could go wrong?
And then it becomes personal…