Cover image for Turnabout
Healy, J. F. (Jeremiah F.), 1948-2014.
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Five Star, 2001.
Physical Description:
264 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When Matthew Langaway receives a call from his former commander in Vietnam, General Alexander Van Horne, asking for help in recovering Van Horne's kidnapped grandson, ex-FBI agent turned security specialist, Langaway quickly agrees. The general's mildly retarded grandson was snatched off Van Horne's palatial, heavily secured Massachusetts coastal compound. Langaway designed the security system and concludes with reasonable assurance that there was no external breach. Someone from the general's family or staff executed the snatch. The general, whose fortune was made in arms dealing, insists official law enforcement not be called in. Langaway's list of suspects include the compound's head of security, the general's son and daughter-in-law, his attorney, the household help, and an estranged son. Healy, best known for his excellent John Francis Cuddy private-eye series, incorporates a number of genre conventions to create an entertaining, genuinely puzzling tale with a surprise finish. There's a little police procedural, some locked-room puzzle, a bit of private-eye sleuthing, and a conclusion that's pure noir. A real treat for mystery fans. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chinatown meets The Big Sleep in this medium-boiled PI novel by the author of Blunt Darts and the creator of John Francis Cuddy. This mystery starts out conventionally enough when the narrator, security expert and ex-FBI man Matthew Langway, is called in by General Alexander Van Horne to investigate the kidnapping of his mildly retarded grandson, Kenny. The general wishes the matter handled discreetly no police, no federal agents. Langway is reluctant, until the general offers him ten thousand dollars, no strings attached. The kidnapers demand a million dollars ransom in used hundred-dollar bills, with the numbers out of sequence. Langway suspects the kidnapping is an inside job, and his suspicions are reinforced when he questions Kenny's parents, Allen and Janine, and runs into a brick wall. During the payoff things go wrong, but that's only the beginning in this tale of treachery, sudden reversals and unexpected retribution, which Langway relates in his laconic, well-observed style. There's an unexpected denouement and definite echoes of Chandler, Cain and others in this fast-paced narrative, with the expected dollops of sex and violence. The climax, though it won't faze hardened readers of the genre, should shock the neophytes. Shamus-winner Healy is undeniably adept at well-plotted, page-turning shockers, and this should add to his luster as one of the more ruggedly entertaining of the current school of tough guy writers. (Dec. 19) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Security expert Matthew Langway faces roadblocks in his attempt to locate a mentally challenged kidnap victim. He doesn't trust his own partner, an alcoholic he suspects of skimming their business's profits, and the parents of the victim are not forthcoming. A solid, adventurous thriller from a reliable author (The Stalking of Sheilah Quinn). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.