Midnight Alley - Miles Corwin
Released April 2012
Book review by Tracy Farnsworth
Midnight Alley is the second book in the Ash Levine series, and my introduction to this character. The book opens with Ash and his ex heading out on a romantic weekend away, hopefully to rekindle things before divorce is the final option. Nothing goes Ash's way when he gets a call from his boss that he's needed to drop his vacation plans and return to L.A. to investigate a double murder.
This is a pressing case because one of the victims is the son of a councilman who has little positive to say about the LAPD's investigative skills. The other had just returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East. The LAPD wants to prove him wrong and find out who would kill a boy who seems to have gotten his life together while in the military. Solving the case isn't as easy as it seems. Ash soon finds the case may go far beyond the boundaries of California.
I'd heard lots of good things about Miles Corwin's first novel, Kind of Blue. I started reading Midnight Alley and was instantly drawn into Ash's activities, but then I started to question things. He's a man determined to have a romantic weekend with the woman he supposedly loves, yet he insists on stopping to surf before they continue on their way. That certainly sent a mixed message to me, and I'm surprised her character didn't walk right out.
Once the murder-mystery kicks in, I was intrigued, but not enough to hold my attention from beginning consistently. I found it a little too easy to walk away and return to the story, and for that reason, it took me weeks rather than days or even hours to finish it. As the story turns to the theft of a highly valued mask and how many people want to get their hands on it, I really lost interest. I'm not sure exactly why this book didn't grab me though, it was fast paced, writing seemed solid, but it just didn't pull me in enough to hold my attention.
In the end, I think Midnight Alley will appeal to those who enjoy murder-mystery novels with a strong leaning towards military intrigue and mafia-type plots. It turned out to just not be my figurative cup of tea.