Review of WHAT THE SHADOW KNEW by Michael Paulson
A Deacon Bishop MysteryBooksForABuck.com, March 2016
Even detectives need to pay the rent, which is why Deacon Bishop found himself spending nights taking pictures of an unfaithful wife and her lover. Considering the wifeís lifestyle, it wasnít a complete surprise when she turned up missing but Bishop agrees to take the job of finding herÖ if she is anywhere to be found. What Bishop doesnít expect is that the task of finding a missing woman will immerse him in an insurance scam, a gambling den that doubles as a church, or a run-in with the Portello crime family which controls so much of Texas.
Bishop picks up his first clues when he meets up with a one-legged skateboarder who thinks he is the Shadow. The Shadow may know but his reality Is far from Bishop. While Bishop believes the little guy saw a murder, exactly who was murdered and who did the job isnít easy to make out. One thing does seem clear--more murders seem likely and Bishop just might become one of the victims.
Author Michael Paulson (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of mysteries by Paulson) continues his Deacon Bishop detective series with an exciting and darkly funny novel. Bishopís world is one of slimy crooks and almost equally slimy cops--and Bishop himself is one of the most morally ambivalent characters in the story, willing to take a bribe to look the other way (as long as what heís ignoring isnít too serious by his not-very-elevated moral code), certainly willing to plant evidence to implicate the guilty, and ready to deal with the devil (in the form of crime boss Salvator Portello) when it serves his purposes. Bishop is a classic hard-drinking, hard-smoking, skirt-chasing hard-boiled detective but thereís definitely a 21st century sense of reality to his world.
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