Monday, December 19, 2011

Goshen Hole - Wayne Dundee

Private eye fans have reason to be very happy. Joe Hannibal is back in Wayne Dundee's new novel GOSHEN HOLE.  Nameless, Matt Scudder, and Spenser may be the deans of the currently active PIs, but Joe Hannibal has been cracking cases (and heads) for almost as long.

Relocated from the Chicago area to western Nebraska, Hannibal spends most of his time on the private security service he runs for businesses and residences around a recreational lake. But when he's asked by a friend to look into the disappearance of the man's ex-wife, Hannibal's private eye instincts kick in and he takes the case, which leads him to Cheyenne, Wyoming and a self-made millionaire who owns a chain of truck stops and has some shady business associates. From there, things just get worse, including a couple of murders, a considerable amount of punishment both dealt out and taken by Hannibal, and a thunderous climax.

Dundee does a great job with both the small-town stuff and the gritty mean streets of the city, in this case Cheyenne. He also introduces some great characters, some good, some evil, some it's hard to say, and not everybody turns out to be what they seem at first, either, which is always a good thing. The best thing about this book, though, is Joe Hannibal himself, who may be getting a little older but is still tough, smart, and determined enough to get the job done. His friendship with William Thunderbringer, an ex-mercenary bounty hunter who pitches in to give Hannibal a hand, is reminiscent of Spenser and Hawk, but it would be unfair to characterize them like that. For one thing, they're much more realistic and believable, as well as more likable. (Not a shot at Parker. I like Spenser and Hawk. I'd just rather hang around with Hannibal and Thunderbringer.)

GOSHEN HOLE is a fine addition to a long, consistently excellent series. If you haven't read Dundee before, you can jump on here without much trouble. If you're a long-time Joe Hannibal fan like me, there's no question you're going to want to read GOSHEN HOLE. It's one of the best books I've read this year.


David Cranmer said...

I just started reading this a few days ago and I'm in Dundee/Hannibal nirvana.

wayne d. dundee said...

Thank you, as always, for the kind words and support, James.