Rick Polad has a new fan. I’ve just finished reading Change of Address, his first in a series of Spenser Manning Mysteries and I am hooked. Rick’s genius as a writer is his simple yet confident prose that engages the reader. His introduces his characters like they were old friends and they probably were, at least in part. His father was on the Chicago police force. He has a story to tell but he isn’t in a hurry to tell it. He settles his readers in first, gets them comfortable with the characters and then begins to weave in the plots and subplots, never rushing, adding a few red herrings now and again with subtle twists which make you think you know how the story will end only to discover you don’t.
I have the privilege of knowing Rick Polad. He is Spenser Manning—thoughtful, witty, curious, honest and a downright old-fashion and genuinely likable guy—everything you would want in a PI, should you ever have need of one. He grew up listening to his own father’s stories so who better than Rick to craft his own. Like his character he grew up in Chicago. And like Rick, Spenser loves his Cubs and never misses an opportunity to take in a game at Wrigley Field as long as he can down a cold beer and a couple of hot dogs. And whether he takes a left on Cicero Avenue and heads north, turns onto the Stevenson Expressway or takes his lady friend to a posh restaurant with a view to the east overlooking Lake Michigan you relax and tag along because you have every confidence that he knows what he is doing and where he wants to take you.
I’ve already begun Dark Alleys. I can’t stop reading it.