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Review: Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte


A New York Times Book of the Year, A Nero Wolfe Award Winner

An Edgar Award Finalist, A Shamus Award Finalist and an Anthony Award Finalist

Named by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century.

This beloved, comedy-noir thriller teams up Leo Bloodworth, a hard-drinking, middle-aged Los Angeles PI with hypertension and a low tolerance for precious teenagers, with Serendipity Dahlquist, a bright and strong-willed roller-blading 14-year-old searching for her lost dog. But things quickly escalate, plunging the oddest of odd couples into the dark underworld of sunny Southern California and pitting them against one of the biggest, and most brutal, organized crime families in Mexico.


Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte, originally published in the mid 80s, is a testament of the timeless crime fiction noir that we don’t experience any longer. Details interchanged with minimal updates, it’s so hard to believe that considering the time it takes novelists today to complete a manuscript, this was originally only written in four months. 

Sarah, who you forget is a teen as you read, is definitely way beyond her years. Her quick wit, independence and youthful perspective blends well with the middle aged, PI Leo Bloodworth who is slightly impatient, beats to his own drum and relies on his instinct to give you moments that make you laugh out loud.

There is something about this book that has a nostalgic quality to it. Well crafted, subtle in the overt details, you get a good mystery that allows the reader to experience the story for itself. Alternating chapters, told from the perspective of two of the most incompatible people, you get a good novel with sophisticated plot twists and witty banter that will have you thoroughly entertained. 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Publisher: Brash Books (September 2, 2014)


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