Saturday, September 26, 2020

Book Review: The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith

The Unspoken
Author: Ian K. Smith
Series: Ashe Cayne (Book 1)
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (October 1, 2020)

Description: In this new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ian K. Smith, an ex-cop turned private investigator seeks justice on the vibrant, dangerous streets of Chicago.

Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate in a police department cover-up involving the death of a young black man, Cayne is pushed out of the force. But he won’t sit quietly on the sidelines: he’s compelled to fight for justice as a private investigator…even if it means putting himself in jeopardy.

When a young woman, Tinsley Gerrigan, goes missing, her wealthy parents from the North Shore hire Cayne to find her. As Cayne looks into her life and past, he uncovers secrets Tinsley’s been hiding from her family. Cayne fears he may never find Tinsley alive.

His worries spike when Tinsley’s boyfriend is found dead—another black man murdered on the tough Chicago streets. Cayne must navigate his complicated relationships within the Chicago PD, leveraging his contacts and police skills to find the missing young woman, see justice done, and earn his redemption.

My Thoughts: Ashe Cayne is a former police officer who left the force after refusing to participate in a cover-up. He left with quite a settlement and good investments means that he can choose his own cases as a private investigator while still trying to improve his golf game.

When Violet Gerrigan comes and asks him to look for her missing daughter Tinsley, he isn't very interested. But the more Violet tells him about Tinsley, the more his curiosity is aroused. So he begins an investigation. Soon he is led to the best friend - Hunter Morgan - who was supposed to host her friend the night she disappeared but says she didn't arrive and hasn't called to let her know why.

Morgan does mention a boyfriend - Tariq "Chopper" McNair - who is the nephew of a well-known gang lord in town and who is Black and not what people from the best part of Chicago want as a son-in-law. Ashe meets Chopper who is worried about his missing girlfriend and paints a picture of a strong, lasting relationship. Soon thereafter, Chopper is found shot to death in an abandoned alley and decorated with gang marks to make it look like he was killed by a rival gang of his uncle's. Now his uncle comes to Ashe because he wants to know who killed his nephew. He has revenge in mind.

The story was filled with interesting information about the city of Chicago, Chicago politics, and the activities of the very wealthy. Ashe is a smart, competent investigator who's as comfortable with gang leaders as the most wealthy in town. He is persistent and has a strong sense of justice. He is also something of a smartass. 

A subplot about what he does to a former priest who abused a number of boys but seemed to evade justice was jarring but understandable considering Ashe's sense of justice and dislike of bullies. 

I liked the sidekick characters too. Carolina provides a lot of information and seems like she'd be good girlfriend material once he finally gets over his fiance running off to Paris with another man and Mechanic is also an intriguing character.

I enjoyed this story and am eager to read more of Ashe Cayne's adventures. 

Favorite Quote:
You were really cut out for this," Carolina said.

"Eating good food?"

"Trying to make right out of wrong."

"I'm not delusional enough to think that I can change the world," I said. "But I do think there's a universal karma that dictates good will ultimately prevail over evil. Maybe not always in the terms that we want or can identify, but it still happens."

I received this book as a part of the Kindle First program. You can buy your copy here.

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