Flat Spin by David Freed
Published By: Permanent Press
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover - 300 pages / Kindle - 599 KB / Nook - 474 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller - Fiction
About The Author:
David Freed is a screenwriter, author and former award-winning investigative journalist for The Los Angeles Times. He served as The Times' lead police reporter, was an individual finalist for the Pulitzer Prize's Gold Medal for Public Service, the highest award in American journalism, and later shared in a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper's coverage of the 1992 Rodney King riots. He reported from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. He has an extensive knowledge of law enforcement, aviation and military affairs.
After leaving The Times, Freed worked as an investigator and associate field producer for the Los Angeles bureau of CBS News, helping cover the OJ Simpson murder case. That same year, he sold his first feature-length screenplay, the action-thriller Stealth, to 20th Century Fox.
Other script sales and/or screenwriting assignments have included: City Held Hostage (NBC Productions); Down Range (Nu-Image); Behind Enemy Lines (CBS Productions); Road Rage (Fox Television Studios); A Glimpse of Hell (F/X Networks); Breaking the Code (F/X Networks); The Shiva Club (William Shatner's Melis Productions); Syncopation, the Davey Yarborough Story (Showtime); Crescent Moon (MGM/United Artists and Trilogy Entertainment); and Rules of War (Court TV). His last film project was The Devil Came on Horseback, a feature film for the independent production company, 72 Productions.
In addition to his work in Hollywood, Freed writes for national publications. his 8,600-word expose in The Atlantic, detailing how the FBI pursued the wrong suspect in a string of anthrax murders following 9/11, was named one of 10 best stories of 2010 by longform.com and givemesomethingtoread.com, among other websites, and short-listed as a 2011 finalist in Feature Writing by the American Society of Magazine Editors. (please see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/05/the-wrong-man/8019/).
Freed has also scripted interactive training simulations for the defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Army's Battle Command Battle Lab, and other entities within the federal intelligence community. He holds an active security clearance from the US Department of Defense.
He is the author of a humor book, Dear Ernest and Julio: the Ordinary Guy's Search for the Extraordinary Job (St. Martin's Press, 1997). His first novel, the mystery-thriller, Flat Spin (The Permanent Press) was published in May 2012.
The son of a Denver police officer and a graduate of Colorado State University, Freed began his journalism career at the Colorado Springs Sun and later worked as a staff writer for the Rocky Mountain News.
An instrument-rated private pilot and aircraft owner, he lives today in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife. Elizabeth, a psychologist. They have two adult children.
BUY THE BOOK: Flat Spin
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and for hosting a virtual book event on my book review blog site.
Virtual Book Event: On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, author David Freed participated in a virtual book event with an Author Interview on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.
Based in sunny Rancho Bonita - "California's Monaco" as the city's moneyed minions like to call it - Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah's late husband is, after all, Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.
Logan and Echevarria were once comrades-in-arms assigned to a top-secret military assassination team known simply as "Alpha." Though Savannah was never privy to the gritty details of their assignment, she suspects that Echevarria's death must be related to the work he did for the government. The only problem is, the LAPD can find no record of Echevarria ever having toiled for Uncle Sam. Savannah wants Logan to tell the police what he knows. At first he refuses, but then, relying on his small, aging airplane, the Ruptured Duck, and on the skills he honed working for the government, Logan doggedly hunts Echevarria's killer.
His trail takes him from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the most dangerous ghettos of inner-city Oakland, from darkened, Russian mafia haunts in West Los Angeles to the deserts of Arizona. Along the way, Logan is stalked by a mysterious motorist who repeatedly tried to kill him. But that's the least of his problems. It is his love-hate relationship with Savannah, a woman Logan continues to pine for in spite of himself, that threatens to consume him.
Transcending the worlds of murder, aviation and international counterterrorism, Flat Spin resonates with a veracity that only an author who knows his subject firsthand can deliver.
My Book Review:
Cordell Logan was a former covert operative for the classified governmental agency, Tier One Ultra, code-named Alpha. He's now a down on his luck owner of a flight school, Above The Clouds Aviation in Rancho Bonita, California. Living in a rented converted 2-car garage, barely staying one step ahead of the bill collectors, the only asset he has is an aging 1973 Cessna 172, aptly named the Ruptured Duck, and a fat cat named Kiddiot. His life is in a flat spin ... can it get any worse? Apparently so when his beautiful ex-wife Savannah, who he still has feelings for, seeks him out and requests that he help the LAPD find the killer of her husband, Arlo Echevarria, Cordell's ex-boss and friend who had stole Savannah from him six years ago. Arlo and Cordell were both in the Alpha unit together, with the cover of running a marketing business. Cordell doesn't want to assist in the murder case, but when his ex-father-in-law, Gil Carlisle, a Texas oil tycoon offers $25,000 for his assistance, Cordell takes the money and finds himself back in the covert operations business while tracking down Arlo's killer, but there are people who don't want him to solve the murder case. In a true whodunit mystery style, Flat Spin will involve you in Cordell's journey to solve the murder case, are you ready for the ride of your life?
Flat Spin is a fast-paced whodunit mystery novel that will keep the reader sitting on the edge of their seat. The intriguing storyline is told from the first person narrative of the protagonist, Cordell Logan. The reader is drawn into coming along for the ride as Cordell goes back into the covert operations business to solve his ex-compatriot's murder. With a caustic wit and wicked sense of humor, Cordell is an engaging character that makes it fun to follow along on his quest. The author uses his extensive knowledge of flying, military covert intelligence operations and reporting to keep the reader enthralled with fascinating descriptions that only a person in-the-know could only provide. This dramatic and suspense-filled story has enough action, thrills, chills, twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge while trying to piece together all the clues and guess who the murderer is. With a supporting cast of characters that are fun and realistic, this story has it all: a beautiful ex-wife; a good ol' boy ex-father-in-law; an NFL loving, brisket making, hysterical Jewish landlady; LAPD police detectives; an old intelligence friend named Buzz; international counter intelligence agents and organized crime bad guys. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining all of the characters' involvement in the story, it makes for a more powerful, entertaining and compelling read. And just to add more fun to the story, the love-hate relationship between Cordell and Savannah is an intriguing subplot that reveals the emotional inner turmoil that has plagued Cordell for over six years.
Flat Spin is one hell of a barn burner of a story! With it's intriguing and intricate plot, the author keeps the reader in palpable suspense until the very surprising conclusion. This is one stunning mystery thriller that should be on every mystery fan's book list!
RATING: 5 STARS *****