WINK OF AN EYE
By Lynn Chandler Willis
Published in 2014 by Minotaur Books.
Reviewed by Retha Fielding.
I selected this Texas mystery because the story sounded good. It did not occur to me that a writer from North Carolina would set her story in Wink, Texas. Did she come here to do research? Why other than how the city’s name fits into the title did she decide on Wink?
Then, Lynn Chandler Willis took the story into Odessa and changed the name of the newspaper. It is a novel, so she has every right, but having worked there, I had to pause every time I read Odessa Record.
I may be the only reader bothered by this, but then I got into the story. The narrator, a good guy named Gypsy Moran, returns to his home following some bad memories in Las Vegas. He didn’t have a good reason to be there. He just had to get out of Las Vegas. That lack of purpose put him in harm’s way to help a 12-year-old boy clear his father’s name. Tatum McCallen knew his father did not hang himself in the back yard out of shame as the local cops were saying. And suicide is a barrier to the benefits that he and his wheelchair-bound and former cop grandfather needed to survive.
Tatum ends up making a pretty good detective partner for Gypsy and the search is good for both of them. In fact, the relationship between the two is very positive. In spite of Las Vegas, Gypsy is a nice guy. In fact with a couple of exceptions, everyone in the book is nice. The book is not pretentious. It doesn’t hide secrets or take the reader on false trails. The book moves along in a very honest presentation of a private eye mystery without blood and guts. It is a good story. It ties up the loose ends and keeps you interested. I enjoyed it very much. The author, Lynn Chandler Willis won Best Private Eye Novel for her work. I hope she keeps writing. Wink of an Eye is well done.
Retha Lindsey Fielding has been a member of the Writers’ League since March. She is the author of one non-fiction book and is currently seeking representation for it.