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Tracking a Shadow: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel by R. Weir

Tracking a Shadow, Jarvis Mann Detective, R. Weir, mystery, private investigators, book review, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received this book for free on Amazon.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Private Investigators
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: September 3, 2014

Back Cover

Never knowing where his next case will come from, Private Detective Jarvis Mann is thrilled when his voicemail is lit up by the sexy tones of a lady looking to hire him. Successful business woman Emily White with girl next door looks, is certain someone is stalking her and wants Jarvis to track down the elusive shadow. Even with three suspects, an ex-husband who lives to play softball, a sexist pig ex-employee and a mystery man who he encounters with painful results, Jarvis believes it's all in Emily's head until a killing in her home convinces him otherwise. Further complicating matters a powerful business man and crime boss becomes involved muddying up the case, leaving Jarvis the prime suspect in the brutal beating of one of the possible stalkers, threatening to put his PI career on ice. Navigating through each twist and turn in the case, and the affections of two desirable women both with an agenda, Jarvis uses dogged determination and razor sharp wit in Tracking a Shadow that moves across the Denver landscape with each shift in the sun.


Living hand to mouth, Jarvis Mann is always willing to take on new clients. When Emily White leaves a message on his voicemail, he jumps at the opportunity to meet with her; a part of him is curious to see if she's as sexy as she sounds, while the other part is curious to find out why she wants to hire him. Jarvis is gratified to see that she is indeed good-looking and well-off. Emily tells him that she wants him to track down the man who is stalking her.

Jarvis is skeptical but accepts the case. When a distressing incident happens at her house, Jarvis comes to her rescue and begins to take Emily's allegations seriously. The case takes an interesting turn as Jarvis narrows down the list of suspects and finds out that there is more to Emily than meets the eye.

Tracking a Shadow is part classic private investigator novel and part contemporary mystery. The well-developed characters take on roles that one might expect to see in noir novels, but their attitudes and dialogue are characteristic of modern society. Jarvis Mann is a noir character in many ways: he's cynical, has a dry sense of humor, and has an eye for good-looking dames. The female protagonists range from damsels in distress to gutsy and strong, and all of them have an air of mystery about them.

I enjoyed how Weir managed to give the plot and characters a noir spin, without being coming across as cheesy or misogynistic. This can be a bit tricky with noir, but Weir does a great job of pulling it off.

The story is fast-paced and gripping as Jarvis Mann tracks down Emily's stalker. Weir provides readers with just enough to figure out where he is going with the plot, but he does not give away the surprise. I suspected who the real perpetrator was about halfway through the book, but the suspense in the novel kept me reading.

There is some sex in the plot. It's not very explicit and it didn't bother me, but I feel it is worth mentioning because some readers prefer clean reads. I also caught a couple of typos in the book, but they were few and far between. I've seen worse in books published by well-known publishing houses. I'm only bringing this up because other reviewers have pointed out the mistakes and I wanted to assure readers who are contemplating reading this book that the typos are not intrusive.

Tracking a Shadow is the best of both worlds. If you like noir mysteries, there's a bit of it in there; if you prefer contemporary and thrilling mysteries, you'll find it in this book. I definitely recommend this to readers who are looking for an intriguing and eclectic plot, and I'm looking forward to reading more Jarvis Mann novels!

About R. Weir

R. Weir, author of the Jarvis Mann Detective series
R. Weir, author. Courtesy of Amazon.
I live in the Mile High city with my wife, daughter and dog, where the Rocky Mountain High isn’t always achieved with an herbal substance. When not glued to the computer for work and writing, I relax by enjoying the outdoors; playing tennis, travelling in our motorhome and riding a motorcycle wherever the wind takes me. My writing beckons back to the days of detectives and dames, but with modern plots and twists. PI Jarvis Mann is tough, resourceful and a man with as many faults as virtues. HIs oddball sense of humor is much like mine, though I’m not nearly as tough and fearless as he is. Though no evil stands a chance against my written word!
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