A Witness Above

How do you find new books to read? Surf the ‘net? Browse the bookstore? Look at the library? I do all of these too, but my favorite way to find a new book or author is to read books recommended by people I admire. If you read my post about West Oversea (read it HERE) you’ll know that one such person is Lars Walker. Mr. Walker recently reviewed a novel by Andy Straka (You can read his review HERE) and I was intrigued. I hunted around until I found that A Witness Above is the first in a series by Andy Straka. I figured that was a good place to start.

Frank Pavlicek is retired from police work. He’s been retired for over ten years, ever since that terrible evening when he was forced to shoot a kid. Frank definitely doesn’t want to get involved in a homicide, not even when he is the one who stumbles across the body. But when his daughter is implicated in the crime, Frank has no choice but to join the search for the real killer. 

A Witness Above is a classic police procedural. Classic in the sense of having everything a gritty crime novel should have — stereotypical racist lawmen, a drug angle, plenty of suspects, and even the ubiquitous visit to a strip club. Despite these “gimmes” I actually really liked the book. It kept me engaged and guessing the whole way through. Thanks for introducing me to a new-to-me author, Mr. Walker, I am in your debt! I recommend A Witness Above to fans of mystery and police procedurals with the cautions/caveats below.

Quote: Guys like to fantasize, watching Rambo or Dirty Harry or Jean-Claude Van Damme. We think bravery has to do with violent upheaval, with the extraordinary acts of valor far outside the scope of our daily lives. What we too often miss is the bravery that happens every day, right before our eyes, deeper, more enduring.

Cautions and Caveats: There is a lot of strong language throughout the book, as you would expect in this genre. Also contains some sexual references (strip club etc.). The issue which stuck out to me in this one was the racial slurs included in the book. They were mostly in service to the story, and the main character is decidedly NOT racist, so the book does not condone those attitudes, but it does bother me to read racial slurs no matter how they are presented. I couldn’t let it pass without mentioning them.