NEMESIS by Bill Carson

Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Mystery Thriller
File Size: 385 KB
ISBN-10: 1495235157
ISBN-13: 978-1495235153
Print Length: 148 pages

I was lucky to win an autographed copy of NEMESIS by Bill Carson. Since I now read mostly on e-readers, I found the font size a bit tiny and missed being able to adjust the lettering height to accommodate my vision. The eyestrain, though, was worth it. From the preface to the end, the story moves quickly, with many characters interacting, and lots of action.

Andy Ryan is a sharp-shooter sniper working for a secret government group.  Porn king Tony Costa is murdered by the deranged John Kane, and Tony’s brother, Jimmy Costa wants to avenge his brother’s murderer and kill the dirty cop who stole his brother’s money. To this end, he sends his goons, Billy Brooks and Johnnie Carter and hires the hit-man Harold Harper. Nick Harland is the retired detective who with Anna, his girlfriend and ex-police officer, opens “The Harland Detective Agency.”  Their first case is to find out who killed Mrs. Macintyre. All these characters make for a convoluted plot.

I thought that most of the major characters were sufficiently fleshed out, except for Anna. As an experienced copper, she should have been able to deal better with stress than she was portrayed to be. Another character that I would have liked to have been better developed is George Smith, the bartender friend. With just a little more personality, George could have been more than a convenience for moving the plot along. In all, there are plenty of characters to love or hate.

It took me a while to get use to Bill Carson’s writing style–just too many adjectives for my taste. He also uses a lot of gangster terminology, and I didn’t know about the glossary of rhyming gangster slang until the end of the book. Having that glossary upfront would have been helpful.

Since Nemesis is a sequel to Necessary Evils, I found it curious that the backfill did not mention Harold Harper’s previous involvement with Tony Costa. Apart from that, the story stands on its own and is a good read. I recommend it to all who enjoy a fast-past thriller.