Daily Review: The Price of Harmony by Jeffrey M. Thompson
February 11, 2018
The Price for Harmony is extremely well-written and perfectly executed, with characters whose foibles make them relatable and lovable.— Red City Review
Free MP3 download of the song “A Girl Called Harmony” courtesy of the legendary band Attrition! Download link at the end of the book!
For six years the murder of Harmony Bane has gone unsolved. A complicated Goth kid in the midst of a metamorphosis, Harmony was found gutted, hacked up, and branded with demonic symbols in the trunk of her abandoned car. After a lengthy and unproductive investigation, her case went cold and was nearly forgotten.
Until Duke Bradley, private eye, came across it.
Now Duke is running between an obsessive cult leader, a self-proclaimed vampire, and a disgraced dentist, all the while dodging legal prosecution and doing his damnedest to hold onto his relationship with Shriya.
In this second installment of the Duke Bradley mysteries, Duke and Special Agent Shriya Thakur of the FBI find themselves in the middle of Akron’s gritty subculture as they take on the cold case murder mystery of Harmony Bane.
From the pen of Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr., The Price For Harmony promises unique twists and teeth-gritting suspense, while taking a grayer look at noir mystery, murder, and life.
By Mallory A Haws
This series revolving protagonist John Marion (“call me Duke”) Bradley, former FBI Special Agent for 17 years, now a Private Investigator (“Private Eye-not Private Detective”) and his love interest and cold-case partner Special Agent Shriya Thakur constitutes what author Jeffrey M. Thompson calls “Gray Noir.”
His vision of Akron, Ohio is just as bleak and desperate as the perspectives of Ross MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, or Raymond Chandler, with the exception that even in the midst of poverty, economic depression, political mishaps, homelessness, and human greed and covetousness—hope still remains. There is light, somewhere, to be found.
In my review of THIRTEEN YEARS OF DUST, I admitted how much I like the protagonist, Duke Bradley (even if he is an unreconstituted “old school” male) and love the series. THE PRICE FOR HARMONY is every bit as intriguing.
Author Thompson fearlessly takes on some big topics: transgenderness, Satanism, medical black market, homophobia, and again, alcoholism and alcohol recovery. He hits all the stops and keeps the reader entertained as well as fascinated. Don’t miss this series—whether you are a fan of the usual Noir or not.
By Keith Allison
Duke Bradley, the fictional detective at the heart of The Price for Harmony, needs this new case. He always does. He can barely scrape together enough money to grab a pizza, so reward money dangling in front of his eyes is just the kind of incentive he needs to get out of bed and try to solve another murder.
This one isn’t pretty. I guess they never are. But the body of Harmony Bane was found in pieces in the trunk of a parked car and the mystery only begins there.
Duke is a character that rings true. His wisecracks mask the pain he carries with him inside, as his life never turned out quite like he expected. He is flawed and makes some poor choices, which is why he has ended up where he is, but he also has an instinct that makes it hard to bet against him.
His partner, FBI Special Agent Shriya Thakur, loves him for that instinct but faces constant frustration at those poor choices; choices that could put her badge on the line.
As with Thirteen Years of Dust, the first in this series, the dialogue crackles, the characters are memorable, and the mystery intrigues. Thompson has penned an impressive sequel that leaves me excited for the next installment.
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