Trick Shot (DS Jack Lisbon #3), by Blair Denholm

Eight stars

As I delve deeper into Blair Denholm’s DS Jack Lisbon series, I am more impressed with what I have read. Denholm spins another masterful tale, where DS Jack Lisbon and his team must crack open a case, using few leads. When a man is discovered next to a pool table, murdered and gripping a locket with his ex-wife’s photo, Lisbon and the Cairns CID try to piece things together. It would seem many have a motive to see the victim dead, though this does not make the investigation any easier for Lisbon, who must chase things down before making a final arrest. Denholm adds more depth to the stories and offers up some personal development for his protagonist, long overdue.

Detective Sergeant Jack Lisbon has waited long enough to see his daughter, Skye. It’s been four years since he left the UK for his new post in Australia. He’s got a ticket and is ready to fly, when the head of the Cairns Police calls him in on a personal favour. While Lisbon tries to weasel out of it, he is persuaded to stay a while longer and help with a pressing murder investigation.

Cameron Snyder was found murdered next to a pool table, clutching a locket with his ex-wife’s photo. He’s quite important and his murder cannot go unsolved for too long, especially with a Commonwealth meeting set to open in Cairns soon. DS Lisbon and his team are called in to help before things get out of hand and the press gets wind of the situation.

While DS Lisbon is keenly aware of the pressure that awaits him, leads are not forthcoming. He’s on a deadline, having changed his schedule by a few days, which pushes him to be as diligent as possible. It would seem that Snyder may have been popular in some circles, but also garnered many enemies. This leaves a long list of suspects and little time to cull them down to something that can be synthesized.

Working around the clock to solve the case, DS LIsbon and the Cairns CID follow a few key leads and determine a potential suspect, but nothing is quite as it seems. With Lisbon running out of time and patience, he’s determined to be seated on a flight to London by the end of the weekend, no excuses. Denholm does a wonderful job keeping series fans on the edge of their seats with this instalment, leaving readers hungering for more.

Blair Denholm has surely made a mark on my reading experience to date. After hearing much about him, I was pleased to be given the opportunity to read this series, which speeds along ad the reader becomes ensconced in everything that’s going on. Having not read any of his other series (though I have a standalone on my radar), I plunged in, not sure what to expect. Three novels and two novellas in has left me highly impressed and wanting more. The next is the ARC I was provided, which will bring this series full circle. I cannot wait to see what’s to come.

DS Jack Lisbon is back for another wonderful adventure, finally given more than a passing chance to develop his personal development. As a father who was forced to leave his young daughter behind in the UK, Lisbon finally has a plan to see her, though it is stymied by his superiors who value his detecting abilities. Character development is somewhat minimal, but the chance to see Skye has surely made a dent in trying to drum up some added opportunity to see more than the rough facade that Lisbon offers when working a case.

Blair Denholm has made the most of his writing opportunity, showing readers that he is the real deal. This story provides a narrative that is as fast-paced as the others and provides the reader with a strong foundation for the rest of the piece. Short chapters keep the reader forging on and makes ‘just another few pages’ turn into an hour-long binge read. Denholm again develops memorable characters, complementing the protagonist while linking the story’s numerous twists. A straightforward plot keeps things from getting too confusing, though there is a lot going on from one chapter to the next. I am ready for the ARC, feeling well-versed on all things DS Jack Lisbon. Someone said these could be standalone novels, though I dismiss this, as a series is meant to be enjoyed as a while, permitting the reader to feel the growth and development of everything as the books pile up.

Kudos, Mr. Denholm, for another winner. Do keep writing and impressing readers worth your ideas.