Drop Shot (Detective Jack Lisbon #5), by Blair Denholm

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Blair Denholm for providing me with a copy of this novel, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Happy to have the latest novel by Blair Denholm in hand, I eagerly devoured the book to see what Detective Sergeant Jack Lisbon turned up. In a story that exemplifies not only Lisbon’s abilities, but also a great narrative surrounding a murder, Denholm captivates the reader from the outset and keeps the action high throughout this piece.

Detective Sergeant Jack Lisbon has seen a great deal since he moved to Australia, but nothing has prepared him for the attitude that Roderick McAdam shows on the tennis court. A phenom who is tearing up the tennis world, McAdam makes short work of anyone who dares meet him on the court. However, after a particularly controversial win in a match Lisbon saw in person, many people begin to see the true side of McAdam.

The following day, McAdam is found murdered in a seedy hotel room, far from where he was staying. While his recent opponent is the prime suspect, DS Lisbon cannot help but wonder if there is more to it, particularly when McAdam was found in a compromising situation. Using the full force of the Yorkville Police, particularly forensics, DS Lisbon begins to peel back what truly happened to Roderick McAdam and who might be targeting him.

After travelling to the site of the upcoming Australian Open, DS LIsbon gets a clearer idea of McAdam as a player and person, as well as garnering some needed facts about who might have been holding a grudge against him. By the time he’s back in Yorkville, DS Lisbon has a clearer idea, but will need to work meticulously in order to properly target the potential killer. Denholm develops a wonderful mystery wrapped in some strong police procedural work to deliver a stellar new novel in the series.

Since first being contacted by Blair Denholm, I have been highly impressed with his Jack Lisbon series. Each novel offers a great look into the man and some of the cases he has come to face since fleeing the United Kingdom. Full of great character development and some strong narrative work, the story paces itself well until the final reveal. This is a great addition to a strong series and kept me flipping pages well into the night.

I enjoy police procedurals, particularly when there is a gritty cop at the helm. Blair Denholm has done well to develop Jack Lisbon throughout the series, offering insights into his personal life as well as progress working in Australia. The narrative proves strong in this piece and provides the reader with a great roadmap throughout the story. A number of great characters appear, some of the first time while others are repeats throughout the series. Plot twists abound and the reader is treated to something great without feeling as though they can predict things from the outset. While there is surely much to learn about Jack Lisbon, Blair Denholm continues to do well at adding depth and dimensions to his protagonist.

Kudos, Mr. Denholm, on another winner. I am excited to see what direction DS Lisbon may follow and the series progresses.