by Karri Compton
Night Watchmanby Mark Mynheir
"Full of realism, faith, and hope..."
Mark Mynheir, author of three other novels, including The Void, brings forth his best in his latest, Night Watchman. The fact that he is a police detective who investigates violent crimes surely aided in his crafting such a gritty, true-to-life story.
What kind of life is there for a former cop forced to retire due to a
painful and debilitating injury sustained in the line of duty? For a man
who lost his partner in the same shootout that shattered his hip? Former
homicide detective Ray Quinn has, for all practical purposes, given up
hope. He spends most of his free time with his best friend Jim Beam.
Night watchman for Coral Bay Condos, Ray exists day to day, night to night, until two dead bodies are discovered in a fourth floor unit.
For the police, it’s an open and shut case--a murder-suicide. But Pam Winters does not accept that scenario. The dead man is her brother, a pastor, and she claims he would never have entertained a prostitute much less have killed her and himself. She begs Ray to investigate, and he reluctantly accepts.
I don’t often talk about realism in fiction. Most writers do a pretty good job of suspending disbelief long enough for the reader to be drawn inextricably into the story. But Mynheir does more than that. His inside knowledge of the police scene and his attention to detail make this story and all its components almost too believable.
Ray’s struggle with alcohol is palpable. He hates visiting the precinct because of its memories and one particularly hateful former coworker. But we see him open up gradually, becoming able to actually carry on meaningful conversation with human beings, including his annoying young guard partner, Crevis. (The change in their relationship is one of my favorite events in the book.) Ray even starts to believe people and in people again--Pam and Ray’s former boss included--which is a big step in taking his life to full recovery.
Full of realism, faith, and
hope, I’d recommend this page-turner
to any suspense fan. I stayed up way too late one night so I could finish
Night Watchman. And I just can’t say that about every book I read.
Compton, wife and mother of three teens, two cats, and a beagle, devours Christian
fiction whenever possible. Her favorite genre is suspense/thriller, especially
Ted Dekker and Steven James novels. Since promoting biblical worldview fiction
is dear to her heart, she reviews on her blog, Fiction
Fanatics Only! and is
a staff reviewer for such sites as The Christian Suspense Zone and Fiction Addict.
Her stab at writing a novel confirmed what a tough job it is, and so the work
is shelved for now, allowing the pros to do what they do best. When she isn't
reading and reviewing, Karri stays busy at church and performing in various community