When Police Chief Sam Jenkins invites reporter and friend Rachel Williamson to cover a fraud investigation at a local auto repair shop, he figures he's doing her a favor. But when she is kidnapped and her cameraman assaulted, he is determined to find her and make up for putting her in harm's way.
Heroes & Lovers by Wayne Zurl is the third Sam Jenkins mystery I've read. It was fun getting back together with the lively characters that are part of this series, but I have to say I didn't enjoy this one as much as the last two. I think part of the issue was the relationship that was explored between Sam and Rachel. In the other books, the two flirt and Sam makes some rather inappropriate comments; but that's what makes Sam endearing. In Heroes & Lovers, they cross the line slightly, and that honestly turned me off. I had a hard time getting into the storyline because of that, although I was happy with the way things were resolved in the end.
The mystery aspect of the novel kept me interested. Sam, Bettye and the rest of the Prospect Police Department all pull together to figure out who took Rachel and where they can find her. As with the other Sam Jenkins mysteries, Zurl uses a lot of dialog to really build the characters and their personalities. Sam is a smart-ass most of the time, and Zurl's portrayal of the other characters, especially the southerners, is always fun to read.
In the end, I'd highly recommend the Sam Jenkins series for those who like a more cozy mystery set in the rural south. This isn't the best in the series, but it's still a fun read if you don't get too hung up on the characters' morals!
My Rating: 3.5/5
Read my review of A New Prospect by Wayne Zurl
Read my review of A Leprechaun's Lament by Wayne Zurl
Read a guest post by Wayne Zurl
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This review was written based on a copy of Heroes & Lovers that I received from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for an honest review.