Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: "Gnosis" by Tom Wallace

There is a lot to like in Gnosis by Tom Wallace, starting with lead detective, Jack Dantzler. He's the kind of detective I'd want on my side: smart, resourceful, and a thinker. Wallace has also created an intriguing story. Summoned to the state prison, Detective Dantzler is asked by a cock-sure, dying prisoner to solve a crime from 29 years ago of which he claims now to be innocent. I settle in for the read. And it's a good one with crisp dialogue, real characters, a too hot girlfriend, and some questions about that conviction that need to be asked and that draw Dantzler to accept then embrace the challenge to answer them.

While I enjoyed the read and recommend it to other mystery/thriller readers, it has some unanswered loose ends. Without giving away the ending, I was disappointed that, after all the build up, there wasn't the mano-a-mano confrontation between good and evil. With all the well-placed biblical references and tie-ins, my reader's appetite was whetted for a bang-up ending, but the ending just kind of petered out with almost a deus ex machina event to resolve the situation, but not case. What I got was a big wrap-up that was good, but a let down from expectations. The other funny/disturbing thing was that the gaggle of detectives at this locale seemed to have unlimited time (and no other cases) to cause them conflict.

Now that the bad guy is eliminated, I want to live next door to Dantzler on the lake and clink a bottle with him and chat up some of the women he's met on the way. Despite the grumbling on my part, this is a smooth, entertaining read with an ending that will satisfy most. It is a worthy "4."

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