Friday, April 10, 2015

Review of California Thriller by Max Byrd (1982)

A Bostonian working in San Francisco, P.I. Mike Haller is ex-military and ex-newspaper reporter.  He’s hired by the wife of a missing reporter to find her wayward husband whose last known location was the Central Valley near to Sacramento.  Haller and his ex-cop colleague, Fred, gradually make headway uncovering the story the reporter was working on and tracking his movements, but they soon have their wings clipped and they’re asked to drop the case.  Haller though believes he’s onto something more than simply a missing reporter and is unwilling to let go.

Published in  1982, California Thriller is a fairly average P.I. tale charting the progress of Mike Haller in solving the mystery of a missing newspaper reporter.  Haller has less hang-ups than the average PI, being in a stable relationship and lacking a self-destructive streak and macho bravado.  He is though dogged, tough and smart.  The tale itself mixes a standard missing persons plot with a wider, fairly fanciful conspiracy.  Whilst there is steady stream of action, most of it is reasonably standard PI work and the tale only strays into ‘thriller’ territory in the last quarter, and even then in a fairly low key way. 

2 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I enjoyed this series and was thinking about rereading one of the books for a post, so it was good to see this one.

Rob Kitchin said...

I'd give one of his other books a go for certain.