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Hunting Sweetie Rose
Dek Elstrom Mysteries, No 3
Jack Fredrickson

Minotaur Books
February 28, 2012 / ISBN: 0312605269
Mystery / Illinois/Michigan / Contemporary

Reviewed by L J Roberts

First Sentence: The Argua-Observer was the only Chicago newspaper that dared run the pictures of the clown going off the room screaming.

Investigator Dek Elstrom is hired by a mysterious man in a limousine to investigate the death of a clown. It doesn't take Dek long to discover his client is wealthy socialite Sweetie Fairbairn. Working with the help of reporter Jennifer Gale and his Dek's sartorially-challenged yet delightful best friend Leo, Dek finds himself with more bodies than clues, pegged as a suspect by the police, and hunting for his own client and her past.

Every author strives for a strong, compelling opening. Frederickson succeeded in creating one. It's not only compelling, but provides images that will stay with the reader for some time. However, a good opening doesn't always guarantee a good book unless that level of involvement is maintained. It is.

Frederickson has a wonderful sardonic voice…"Google, that collector of all lint…" and wry humor. His protagonist, Dek, has lost almost everything and even seems to be letting go, in this book, of his one last self-delusion. I did appreciate learning more about Dek's family history.

There is palpable tension and suspense along with intriguing and unexpected twists that you don't see coming. Any holes one fears there might be there have been plugged in advance. The ending is a bit ambiguous for my taste and left me rather confused but not to where it spoiled my enjoyment of book overall.

Hunting Sweetie Rose is the third book in the Elstrom series. Although it may not be my favorite of the three, so far, I really enjoy Frederickson's style and recommend him as an author well worth reading. I do feel there are good things ahead.

Reviewed 2012