The White Flamingo – A Book Review by Kevin Cummings

 | Tue 23 Jul 2013 10:19 ICT

The White Flamingo, ( #3 in the Joe Dylan Private Investigator series), is James A. Newman’s best novel to date.  Raw. Emotionally honest and a great story; written by a great story-teller. A true who dunnit, where you’ll find not all the curves to be found are on the heroine; the now 50ish but still has it, once famous catwalk model that hit the big time on the marry a millionaire circuit, the widower, Mrs. Bell. Also known as, the White Flamingo. Private Detective, Joe Dylan has been hired by the curvaceous mansion on-the-hill owner to find the killer of a freelancing working girl, murdered and butchered on a moth eaten pool table at one of a thousand beer bars in Fun City. If Dylan can do his job the beloved, unstable and perverted son of the White Flamingo will be released from a corrupt police station where he is being detained and unjustly accused of the initial crime, which evolves into a modern day Jack The Ripper copycat serial murderer. And it works.

A sample of the Newman dialogue as Dylan meets, the White Flamingo for the first time:

                “Nice place,” The Detective said.

                “It does one well from time to time, to have a view. Do you really like it? We are only here for a few weeks every year. I have a business here but it more or less looks after itself nowadays. The rest of the portfolio’s in London.”

                “The view is fantastic, Mrs. Bell. I have only ever lived street level. A nice view for me is a streetlight. Close up, a streetlight is a work of art.”

                “Sounds like you’ve lived in the gutter, Mr. Dylan.”

Joe Dylan is slip-sliding in and out of his 12 Step Program, with the help of his works and some heroin fixes to keep him off the sauce. This is not your grandpa’s Private Eye and Fun City is not San Francisco. They are both a lot more interesting, in an existential  angst, blood and guts, neo-noirish, psychopathic way. There is so much neurosis in the mix that a psychiatrist as one of the main characters is one of many good calls made by Newman.

The White Flamingo has everything you need for an entertaining, double hard boiled murder mystery. Characters, setting, dialogue and warp speed narrative. There is no lag in the White Flamingo. Like three shotgun blasts, the beginning, middle and end are attention grabbing, blaze a wide path and leave an impact on the reader.

Welcome to Joe Dylan’s world – a world of gutters and gutter dwellers, where no one has the vision to look up at the stars.  Close up or from a distance, The White Flamingo is a work of art. Congratulations, James A. Newman.  This reader is looking forward to Joe Dylan mystery #4.

Review by Kevin Cummings of Thailand Footprint –

You can buy The White Flamingo on Amazon here.