three nine line book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Three-Nine Line is the fourth book in the Cordell Logan mystery series. And I have to say I’m going to have to go back and read the first three! Cordell is a pilot instructor and truly enjoys flying the friendly skies.

Logan both instructs and hires his plane out for charter. We meet him as he is flying a famous movie star and his lady friends out over the Pacific Ocean. The movie star wants Cordell to buzz the whales they can see down below. When Cordell refuses on the grounds that it will disturb the whales, the movie star takes up a bribing tactic. Unfortunately for him, this tactic does not work out as expected.

Cordell’s friend Buzz Hauksson, who is in charge of an organization that reports directly to the president, has asked Logan to go to Vietnam to help prevent an international incident. It turns out that in an attempt at international diplomacy, the two countries tried reuniting ex-POWs from the U.S. with one of their jailers from the Hanoi Hilton. The only problem was that early the next morning Mr. Wonderful, as the jailer was known, was found floating face down in a pond with a knife in his chest.

The most likely murder suspects were of course the three ex-POWs. They were immediately placed under arrest in their hotel. Logan is sent in as a psychologist to ‘ascertain’ the mental well-being of the detainees while trying to find out who actually settled their grudge.

Turns out Mr. Wonderful had plenty of people who thought that he wasn’t so wonderful, including his estranged wife and his partner in crime, whose girl he had an affair with. The cop in charge seems to be railroading the POWs for a career advancement and in a corrupt town, no one is as innocent as they appear to be.

I found The Three-Nine Line to be a pretty good book and I enjoyed it more than I expected. Cordell Logan seems pretty competent and like a man I wouldn’t mind knowing. He also likes to fly by the seat of his pants–and not just in his airplane. He made a few good bluffs at the right time that paid off. The mystery of who dun’ it was pretty good with a reasonable surprise thrown in.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review and giveaway copies were provided by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.