Friday, August 18, 2017

Never Bet Your Life by George Harmon Coxe

Rating : 3/5
Read between 5th of August,2017 and 11th,August,2017

Edition Details:
Format: E-book
Publisher: Wildside Press
Anthology: The Noir Novel MEGAPACK ™: 4 Great Crime Novels
ASIN: B010TO5EMA


First Sentence:
The man who was responsible for Joh Gannon's two suicide attempts in the weeks immediately following the tragic death of his daughter- an only child who had been, in fact, the only relative- came to the Seabeach Motel late in the afternoon of a hot April day.

John was a successful businessman. He had everything going for him. When John's daughter dies in a car crash, he doesn't want to live anymore. He tries twice to kill himself and hence Dave is appointed to watch over him and prevent the suicide attempts. Dave is a lawyer who works for the firm who looked after the John's legal matters . John was Dave's father's friend and so Dave feels responsible for John and agrees to take the responsibility.

After a week of watching Dave is sure that John has gotten over his suicidal tendencies. And at that fateful night Dave, lets his guard down. He's thinking of calling to his office and telling them that his job is done here. But something else is in store for him. That night at club 80 someone spikes his drink and when Dave wakes up, it's already too late.

By the time he reaches home, John is dead. While inspecting the dead body, somebody socks him over his head and runs out. Dave tries to run after him but fails to give a chase.

Dave has let his friend down and he's decided to find the culprit and make him pay for what he has done.

Who killed John? Why was he killed? Who drugged Dave? Did Dave find out the answers that he was looking for?

Major Characters:

John Gannon - Owner of Seabeach Motel. The guy who got murdered
Dave Burnan - Lawyer who acted as Male Nurse for John Gannon. Dave's father was friend of John
Alice - The only daughter of John who was killed in a car crash
Frank Tyler- Son in law of John. John blames him for his daughter's death
George Stintson - Manager of sea beach hotel
Betty Nelson - Love interesr of Betty. Worked in restaurant of Sea beach motel
Lisa Drake- Singer at club80. A club owned by John Gannon
Sam Resnik- Partner of John in Club 80. He ow ed all the equipments there
William Shears- A shady businessman who wanted to buy Club 80
Captain Vaughn- The acting chief of police.He was investigating murder of John
Carl Workman - An ex cop and PI. He was living in sea beach and had developed friendship with John
Mrs Craft - A sixty year old lady who was living in Sea beach motel
Widow Collins - She was visiting the place and was staying at sea beach motel

Never Bet your life is a whodunit. It's the second novel in this collection. It was a fulfilling read for me. I couldn't guess till the end who the killer was and for me that's a quality of a good mystery. There were enough suspects and each had a genuine motive for killing him, so it was fun to find out who turns out to be the real killer.

Near the end the writer has added a sub plot in the story and that too piques the interest in the story. Something or other keeps happening till the end which ensures that the readers are bound to the story line and don't get bored. The story has decent pace to it but if it could have been more fast paced then it would have been better.

I liked the way the writer had portrayed Dave. He's a amateur detective and hence makes many mistakes during his investigation. It was fun to read as to how he moves ahead, fails and then keeps  moving.  These mistakes are what make him realistic. If these wouldn't have been there then it wouldn't have been so believable.

If you are looking for a good mystery novel then you should give it a try.

I have not read anything by George Harmon Cox and would love to read his other works.If you have read anything and want to recommend, then please do so in the comment box.

Some quotes from the book:

The only security the man has is within himself.

And so he sat there in the dark by the front-window and tried as he had been taught to think in college, taking one point at a time, starting from something he knew to be true and following a line of supposition along its crooked, convoluted path until he had to abandon that possibility and start afresh.

If you have read this book then do tell me what did you think of it? If you haven't then you can get the book from the following link:
Kindle

I have also read following from the collection:
Hunter at Large by Thomas B Dewey

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