Phineas Troutt solves problems. Have a stalker? Being extorted for protection money? Phin will solve your problem for the right amount of cash.
With the help of some friends, Phin tries to help the doctor of a woman’s clinic who is being harassed for unknown reasons. What seems like a small job at first soon becomes much bigger than Phin could have imagined.
I have repeatedly said I prefer my heroes to be flawed. That I cannot stand when the main character is perfect at everything. Well, Phineas Troutt is a prime example of an imperfect hero. A broken, depressed, sick, drug addict with a death wish, Phineas has a laundry list of baggage. Having given up on chemo and trying to dull the pain from his spreading cancer, Phin spends much of the book high on or trying to score drugs. For me, it’s hard to root for a character who is a drug addict but I feel Konrath does a good job at showing Phin’s inner struggle with the need to shut out not just his physical pain but the psychological pain of giving up, wanting to die, and deciding he has to be alone.
The story has a very fast pace that keeps up for the entirety of the book. This is very much an action thriller. The punishment Phin goes through reminds me of John McClain in Die Hard having to run through the glass in bare feet. The book also has a very comical tone, especially with side characters from Konrath’s other works like Harry McGlade taking part in Phin’s adventure.
The book’s characters seem to all have a very liberal point of view. Those with conservative ideals are bad. I’d say if you are offended by this then there are parts of the book you won’t like. Though I am neither democrat nor a republican I am getting pretty tired of one side always being the bad guy. It seems to be trendy at this point that if someone is republican or has conservative beliefs they are bad people. The only point of view I actually appreciated hearing in this book was by Jack Daniels who said “I vote the candidate, not the ticket.” At times I really disconnected from the book because the book went from being a fun and exciting read to feeling like I was getting a lecture on sexism and abortion. And unless I am reading a book specifically about topics like that, when I’m reading a fictional comedy/thriller that kind of thing just really takes me out of my reading flow.
That being said, I enjoyed the majority of the book. Phin is a fun character to read about, and Harry McGlade’s stupidity is a huge added bonus. Though she didn’t get as much page time Jack Daniels was also a welcome addition to the cast. Though I didn’t feel the sense of danger in the background like in other Konrath books, the encounters were fun to read. Often more entertaining than thrilling or frightening.
Though I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Jack Daniels series I did enjoy the first of the Phineas Troutt books and look forward to reading the others.
Use the following link to buy this book on Amazon.Dead On My Feet – A Thriller (Jack Daniels and Associates Mysteries)