Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy NavelI managed to get my hands on an ARC of Fuzzy Navel, J.A. Konrath’s new novel coming out in July 2008. I read it in fewer than 24 hours, coincidentally about the same amount of time that the book covers. In this latest installment of the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series, the action is packed into about eight hours. The last chapter occurs about 24 hours after the book starts.

Konrath packs plenty of action into those eight hours. Also, like his earlier works, the action is spiced up by plenty of humor.

This book features the return of Alexandra Kork (from Whisky Sour) and pulls together all of the characters we have come to know in Jack’s world: Her partner Herb, her mother Mary, her former partner Harry, he boyfriend Latham, and her friend Phineas Troutt.

I want to pause here to make two observations. First, I feel really sorry for Latham. The poor guy is wonderful to Jack’s mother and he seems like a great boyfriend. Nevertheless, the poor always ends up in terrible situations, facing grave injury or death. I just feel bad for him.

The second observation is that Phin is my favorite character in these books. In fact, I found Konrath and his books through a Phin story “Epitaph” that appeared in an anthology called Thriller. Epitaph is one of my favorite short stories ever and provides a great look at Phin.

Ok, back to our story. Not only does Kork return seeking revenge, but Jack is also involved in the investigation of three simultaneous sniper attacks. Her initial investigation of those attacks quickly leads to a horrific intersection of both the snipers and Kork.

I don’t want to say more to avoid giving away any spoilers. I will say, however, that the scenes in the snipers heads are absolutely hilarious. Additionally, because the events in the book occur over such a short period of time, the action is non stop.

If you like this series, you much pick this book up and read it. Konrath has also already announced that the next book in the series “Cherry Bomb” will be out a year from now. Fortunately, it is supposed to pick up right where Fuzzy Navel left off. After you read Fuzzy Navel, you will figure out why this is a good thing.

In sum, Fuzzy Navel is typical Konrath. And that is a good thing. It is faced paced, full of action, fear, and humor. If you enjoy the series, definitely read it. If you have not read any of the series before, read Rusty Nail and then read this book.

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