@jonspach ) during a recent trip. I’m not gonna lie — I stayed up late a few nights to keep reading it.I read “‘Til Death” by Jason Anspach (
The prose is exceptional, great dialog, and a real capturing of what I must imagine is the “feel” of the ’50’s. The style had a lightheartedness to it, but no loss of character, plot, or tension. Just a level of… comfort, perhaps? I can only describe it as the difference between a Humphry Bogart movie and a darker, modern thriller. It gave me a nice noir thriller without the swearing and sex — and, admittedly, I didn’t miss it at all.
More than a mystery, though, the book had a lot to say about life, love, and family. And, in a certain way, about the need to take a chance for something you care about.
The story centers around LA supernatural detective Sam Rockwell and his charming secretary, Amelia, as they investigate the murder of Sam’s father, who has returned as a ghost. Throughout the investigation, Sam gets schooled on police procedures, runs afoul of local politics, and uncovers a Communist plot to steal nuclear secrets, all while trying to win the heart of his best girl.
‘Til Death is an exceptionally smooth read with excellent pacing, great characters and dialog, and a satisfying ending. Lighthearted without being sappy, and intriguing without being dark. Some of the twists in the story are well telegraphed, but the writing is so good you don’t mind as you’re just anxious to see how Mr. Anspach brings it all together in the end.
Bottom Line: A great read, surprisingly well done for a first time novelist. Looking forward to reading more great work from Jason Anspach (and, yes, I’ve already bought the sequel!).