The Steel Deal is about Sonny, a P.I. who's buried in debt, owes the wrong kind of people money, and lives a "bare minimal" kind of lifestyle. His clunker car is in the shop again, and he's presented with an opportunity to make some quick money. Sounds like a solid deal. Or so he thought. Sonny is pulled into a deep web of lies, and starts putting the pieces together.
I liked Sonny from the start; he's a funny, realistic, no B.S. kind of guy that's down on his luck. He's a bit older than most main characters you'll see in this genre, which was a welcomed change of pace. I loved the authors flare for descriptive detail, but at times it was a bit too descriptive, thus pulling me out of the flow of the story. Clearly the author had a complete vision when writing this book, and he is very talented when it comes to creating setting and mood, but I think if that was scaled but just a hair the flow would be spot on.
That aside, overall the plot pace flowed very well; the story keeps you on your toes, slowing only enough to introduce you to a great cast of characters. I've read a lot of books where the sub (or secondary) characters are there, but are somewhat pointless. Here, that's not the case. Each character serves a purpose and brings something to the story, they all help propel the story forward. Which is exactly what good writing should do. You won't find any bland, lifeless "filler" characters in this book, and it's a tough call to say who's my favorite.
I was also pleased to see so many strong female characters in this book. Usually in this genre (which is a genre I love, actually) you maybe have one strong female character; the rest are just there for sex appeal and don't bring a whole lot to the table otherwise. I have to give the author a pat on the back for that, adding his own touch to the genre that would be appealing to female readers, yet still holds the same essence fans of the genre love and come to expect.
Overall this was a good, easy read. The plot moves along nicely with twists at just the right points, and I really loved the ending and how the author tied everything up. As I mentioned earlier, the whole cast of characters really gave the book some pop, making it stand out more than other books in the genre. I would definitely read more works by this author, and would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of mystery/detective/police books. So, add this book to your Goodreads list, or pick up a copy on Amazon.
I'm pleased to say that the author is offering a free copy of The Steel Deal, and a $25 Amazon gift card! Which is a great deal for you guys, because this was a pretty darn good book. All you have to do to enter is answer one of the two questions in a blog comment. That's it! Thank you, James, for providing this awesome giveaway!!
About the Author:
James Blakley was educated at Missouri Western State College and Washburn University. While at MWSC, he was a local and national award-winning columnist and co-editor of "The Griffon-News".
Blakley worked 10 1/2 years as a page and as an Assistant Librarian for the River Bluffs Regional Libraries of St. Joseph, MO. He currently lives in Topeka,KS where he worked for The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library before spending several years in clerical and customer support capacities for international computer companies such as EDS and HP.