Sunday, September 11, 2016


A Jake Diamond Mystery
By J.L. Abramo
Down & Books
242 pgs

We generally do not enjoy books wherein the writer moves back and forth between first and third person narratives.  Most of the time these shifts are jarring  in that the reader, safely ensconced in the hero’s personality finds themselves tossed out of that mindset into a detached world vision…and then back again.  But as all things, there are exception to the rules and writer J.L. Abramo proves to be such; at least to this reviewer.

“Circling The Runway,” is a convoluted mystery that has more twist and turns in it then a box full of intertwined old shoelaces.  Within the first few pages we are introduced to at least a half dozen different characters all running to and fro; some with serious criminality on their minds while the others are the unsuspecting victims.  In this dense population of characters we meet Lt. Laura Lopez and Sgt. Roxton Johnson of the SFPD who find themselves investigating the murder of a well loved young Assistant District Attorney. Then there’s private investigator Jake Diamond and his gal-Friday, Darlene Roman who have their own hands full helping a known San Francisco mob figure clear one of his nephews of a murder charge.

That both cases will ultimately collide is a the result of some amazing plotting that has more twist and turns than a mountain back road.  And yet through it all, Abramo shows a flair for characterization that is not only flawless but crucial to making a tale like this work. There are so many moving parts all going off in different directions; you have to wonder if he isn’t a mechanic as well as a mystery writer.  No matter, in the end he has this plot engine purring like a well oiled machine with a truly remarkable finale that was more than satisfying.

All in all a terrific book we recommend happily.  J.L. Abramo is a writer to keep an eye on. He’s having way too much fun here and it’s contagious.

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