Saturday, July 22, 2023

Night Candy

Night Candy by Max Tomlinson
7/25/23; 336 pages
Oceanview Publishing
Colleen Hayes Series #5

Night Candy by Max Tomlinson is a highly recommended mystery and the fifth novel in the Colleen Hayes series.

Ex-con and current private investigator Colleen Hayes moved to the San Francisco area to reconnect with her daughter Pam. Now it's 1979 and Pam has left the area after losing her baby. Colleen is heartbroken, but keeping it to herself and working on her cases as a PI. She is very concerned about the serial killer known as Night Candy who is still on the prowl and those who are most vulnerable to be targeted by him.

At the same time another case more personal to Colleen. SFPD Inspector Edmund Owens has been arrested for the murder of his ex-wife. Colleen knows he is innocent and sets out to prove this. She is up against the investigator assigned to his case who is openly hostile to Owens as well as Colleen. The danger and tension increases as Colleen exposes information and clues in two different complicated cases leading up to an intricate and very satisfying conclusion.

Night Candy is a fast paced, intelligent and sophisticated investigative mystery. It is enjoyable to follow the investigation and try to piece together the clues as Colleen works the cases. Colleen is a wonderfully complicated and intelligent character. Sure, she has issues and imperfections, but most readers are going to like her and will closely follow her investigations, wanting her to succeed.

Set in the seventies, Tomlinson brings it all back (for the best and the worst) from clothes to cars. There were a few phrases/words used by characters that wouldn't have been said in the seventies, but, to be honest, most readers won't notice this at all. It also portrays a San Francisco from decades ago and not today.

Although this can be read as a standalone, it does feel like I'm missing some vital information and backstory about the characters and wish I had at least read the previous novel first. The series includes Vanishing in the Haight, Tie Die, Bad Scene, Line of Darkness, and Night Candy.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Oceanview Publishing via NetGalley.

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