Since I am traveling this week-end, I am posting a review I wrote of Racing the Devil by Jaden Terrell. This review was published in the most recent issue of Suspense Magazine.
Carve out a chunk of free time to read this novel, because you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the end of this tale.
Set in Nashville, Tennessee, Racing the Devil is the first in the Jared McKean mystery series by Jaden Terrell. McKean is an ex-cop turned private detective who is framed for murder, in what looks like the perfect crime.
Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to create what looks like solid evidence of McKean’s guilt. But even as he works to untangle the strands of evidence that he knows is false, he still can’t budge a legal system that wants to believe in his guilt. McKean takes on himself as a client and sets out to investigate the connections to the murdered woman and her family, and runs afoul of the pastor of the Church of the Reclamation, a decidedly chauvinistic individual who just may have a criminal past.
Author Jaden Terrell has created a protagonist whose humanity emerges with each page. Besides clearing his own name of murder, he has a network of family and friends who help him when they can, but they all need Jared McKean, too. McKean’s roommate is dying of AIDS, his seven year old son has Down’s Syndrome, and his teenage nephew has joined a Goth sub-culture and is breaking his father’s heart. Jared McKean does it all, but he is no superman.
Author Terrell writes in a tight, concise style that maintains the suspenseful pace throughout the book. Terrell – and main character McKean – are able to deal with issues such as prostitution and sexual abuse of children without descending into ugliness. Jared McKean is still good, and there is hope for him, and hope in his world.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series, A Cup Full of Midnight, which is due to be published later this year.