Friday, September 28, 2012

Review: 'The Big Sin' by Jack Webb

The Big SinAn act of faith unearths corruption, lies, betrayal, and murder. Father Shanley, a Catholic Priest believes the apparent suicide (or big sin) of showgirl Rosa Alyce is murder. The suicide note looks falsified and the motive unreasonable. To dispel the polices' all too easy verdict, he enlists the services of Sergeant Golden to open the cold case and bring those responsible to justice.
'The Big Sin' is very much a cat and mouse thriller accompanied by the hard boiled whodunit style popular in the 1950's. Despite being written over a half a century ago, 'The Big Sin' comes across as a modern story brimming with suspects, violence, and action.
All the key components of a well written underworld crime are evident; Nick Sandoe a nightclub owner and Rosa's boss, vengeful siblings - one a boxer, the other a sexy young woman, a private eye who's allegiance isn't unravelled until near conclusion, a mob moll with the mob in Nell - Golden's girl, a hardened dame willing to risk it all for the love of her man, a journalist uncompromised by bribery or the corrupt mayor's influence, and a dangerous and seemingly intelligent gangster type in Jack Farr - a shoot first, ask later kinda guy. With a cast as diverse and well written as this, the plot didn't need to hold up - yet it did, and well.
The constant change in direction, speeding bullets, and falling characters kept me guessing as to where 'The Big Sin' was heading. Luckily, it was in the right direction. There wasn't a single moment throughout the 170-odd pages that felt un-warrented or rushed. For such a compact novel, author Jack Webb sure crams a lot in.
A big thank you to Prologue Books for brining these novels of yesteryear back via ebooks. 'The Big Sin' is well worth a look. 4 stars (could've easily been 5).
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