Liquid Shades of Blue by James Polkinghorn is coming soon – a review

A promising debut novel that kept me up late…

Liquid Shades of Blue is a promising first book from author James Polkinghorn.  It’s a bit rough in places, but kept me reading much later into the night than I should have – not so much trying to figure out what happened (the outlines of which seemed pretty clear early on), but trying to understand the details of how, and more importantly, why.  

As the story opens, Jack Girard wakes up with an unexpected woman in his bed and an unexpected call on his cell.    The call seems more important:  his mother has been found dead in Miami and although they were separated, his father demands he return to the city.      Jack has a justifiably tense relationship with “the Duke”, and has established a comfortable life for himself in Key West, but he still heads north.   After he arrives, though, questions proliferate.   Did his mother really commit suicide, or was she murdered?   And is there any connection to the years-earlier suicide of Jack’s brother, Bobby?    Is the mobster that his mother was supposedly hanging out with really involved?   Jack investigates and slowly the pieces start to come together, until there’s a final explosive conclusion.    

I’m not much of a thriller reader, and the thrilller-ish ending felt just a little off to me: the resolution of the “whodunnit” part was fine, but the manner in which it occurred seemed a teeny bit forced.   Still, there was quite a nice mystery along the way though to carry me through.   And the “sunny place for shady people” atmosphere fit beautifully with Jack’s extremely dysfunctional family – even though Somerset Maugham was talking about the French Riviera, and not South Florida…

I’m now left wondering whether Liquid Shades of Blue is going to be the first in a series, providing the author with a chance to further develop Jack’s character and life in Key West, or whether this will be a standalone.    But either way, Liquid Shades of Blue is worth a read.    And finally, my thanks to Oceanview Publishing for the advance review copy. 

Oh yeah, and I’m a bit of a “title collector” – and Liquid Shades of Blue definitely gets some “title kudo points” from me…

Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo US | Kobo UK | Kobo Canada

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top