a witness above book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Meet Frank Pavlicek, a former New York City police detective currently working as a private investigator. As a young detective, his career in police work ended after a teenager and a police officer were both killed. Years later, that fateful day still hangs over his head. In A Witness Above – the first book in the Frank Pavlicek Mysteries – by Andy Straka, the reader is introduced to Frank while he is out falconing one morning. In the middle of nowhere, he manages to nearly stumble over a decomposing body. As an experienced PI, he quickly checks for clues and flips through a wallet near the body. Inside he happens to find his daughter’s phone number on a slip of paper, leaving him with a mystery to unravel.

What follows is the tale of Frank’s investigation as he seeks to find the connection between his daughter and the dead man, an apparent drug dealer. He finds himself working against the clock as the local authorities try to pin serious charges against his daughter. While working the case, Frank finds himself navigating his relationship with his ex-wife and her husband as well as his daughter all while under the scrutiny of small town living. Amidst the current murder investigation, Frank finds a connection that solves the NYC murder from years before when he was a police detective.

While this mystery lacks a lot of suspense, it does have a solid story line. The author does an excellent job of weaving together details and by the end, I was surprised to discover who actually committed the murder in question.

I did enjoy learning quite a bit about falconry as part of the storyline. Additionally, as Frank has to interact with local law enforcement officials, there are a lot of details and information on police procedure as well. A Witness Above is Straka’s debut book in the series. It is a strong beginning as the first in a series of Frank Pavlicek Mysteries. I enjoyed the audio version of this book narrated by Eddie Frierson and found his reading to be clear and even semi dramatized at times.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Audible.com. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.