Tom Mankowski is a homicide detective investigating the murder of Thomas Jessup. A librarian found decapitated in his apartment. Aside from the obviously disturbing missing head, Tom discovers the victim has a mysterious tattoo on the bottom of his foot that matches one Tom has on his own foot. Soon Tom finds others with similar tattoos and begins to uncover a vast conspiracy that threatens not only Tom, but the entire world.
This is the third book in my journey through the works of J.A. Konrath. While I must say I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the first two, which were both in the Jack Daniels Mysteries series, I did enjoy this book.
Tom Mankowski is a subordinate of Lieutenant Daniels and is a likable enough character. Aside from a discovery made in the book which I will not give away, there is nothing that really stands out about him though. He is a rather run-of-the-mill protagonist. Not overly funny, and not very witty. He is brave and can hold his own in a fight. He is smart but he is neither above nor below average at anything. Which I suppose may be the point (this will make a little more sense when you read about his personal discovery) but it makes for a rather dull main character.
The side characters were, at least for me, much more entertaining than Tom. Tom’s partner Roy’s back and forth with Bert made up the majority of the funny moments in the book. Joan was easy to sympathize with and admire. Though I wish there was more information on their backstories and we got to spend time from their point of view, the villains were sufficiently menacing and psychotic.
The book is nonstop action. The story keeps you running with the characters from one place to another dodging bullets and pointy sticks along the way. This book marks a point where the Jack Daniels/Tom Mankowski universe veers from the Thriller/Suspense/Horror and into the Science Fiction realm. I can’t say I was overly thrilled with that storyline, but that was just one side of the book. I enjoyed the journey, the pace, and the side characters very much and I recommend this book to those who enjoy sci-fi thrillers.
I know this book is several years old and some people may say its OK to put in spoilers after so long, but I really want to avoid as many spoilers as possible in my reviews so there are some points about the book that I found positive or negative and that factored into the rating that I haven’t included in the review so as not to ruin certain plot points for new readers.
Use the following link to buy this book on Amazon.The List (The Konrath Dark Thriller Collective Book 1)