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Dead West by Matt Goldman []



Nils Shapiro appears in his fourth mystery, this time taking his private investigation skills to Los Angeles when Ebben Mayer’s grandmother Beverly asks Nils to check up on her grandson and make certain he’s not squandering his fortune. Nils agrees, thinking a short trip to sunny southern California to solve a nonproblem is just what he needs to break up a Minnesota January. He takes his friend Jameson White along as muscle, and to get him out of the dark winter and his own troubles. When they arrive, Nils suspects foul play in the recent death of Ebben’s fiancée and can’t help but follow his instincts into an investigation far more complex than his original assignment. It seems everyone involved–Hollywood industry players on several levels–is potentially in danger, and looking out for their own interests. Meanwhile, Jameson’s attentions are divided between protecting Ebben (and Nils) and dealing with his own issues, and Nils worries he may be losing his edge as a happily affianced new father, avoiding risks he would have otherwise taken in past cases.

Goldman continues to please with interesting twists, great peripheral characters, insights into specific communities, and enough peril to keep readers turning pages past bedtime. Offer this to fans of lone wolves finding their pack, readers who love LA settings, and private investigators both amateur and professional.

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