Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Devil's Triangle by Howard Owen

I'm a sucker for a good mystery featuring a journalist as sleuth. So why hadn't I heard of Howard Owen? The Devil's Triangle is the sixth Willie Black mystery set in Richmond, Virginia. I feel as if I've been missing a good series. In fact, Owen's first Willie Black book, Oregon Hill, won the 2012 Hammett Prize.

Who would expect a twin-engine Beechcraft to crash through the plate-glass window of a popular Richmond bar on a Friday afternoon when Happy Hour draws lawyers and others from downtown? In fact, the husband of Willie Brown's third ex-wife was in the bar, along with many of the partners of the firm. Willie, the night police reporter for Richmond's daily newspaper, suspects the crash was more than an accident. The first reports of the pilot say he was a loner, probably off his meds. But, where did he get the money for a half million dollar life insurance policy? As Willie digs for answers, he only uncovers more questions.

Owen's latest mystery features a driven newspaperman, determined to find answers, even if it puts him at odds with his girlfriend, the police chief, the paper's publisher, and the pilot's only friend. As in any good story about the newspaper world, Black deals with sources and witnesses from every strata of life in Richmond. The mystery brings "The Devil's Triangle" area of Richmond into focus.

And, it also brings Willie Black to life. He may be a stereotypical newspaper reporter, dogged in the search for a story, hard-drinking, a smoker, and married multiple times. Despite the failing newspaper business, Black is a reporter who is still optimistic. He's hopeful a fifty-six-year-old man will still be able to keep his job. He's sure he can find the story behind the airplane crash. And, by the end, he's hoping he'll live to write another story for the paper.

And, I'm going to be optimistic. I'm hopeful that I can find the other books in Howard Owen's Willie Black series. The Devil's Triangle should please readers who enjoy Bruce DeSilva's work, and other mysteries featuring investigative reporters.

Howard Owen's website is

The Devil's Triangle by Howard Owen. The Permanent Press. 2017. ISBN 9781579624996 (hardcover), 240p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I was sent the book to review for a journal.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Interesting. I'd never heard of him either. Apparently, it was his 10th book (Oregon Hill) that introduced his series character.

Lesa said...

I like the character, Jeff.

Charlotte said...

New author for me and I am going to check him out. Love finding out about new authors and starting a whole new series of books to go along with all those others that are lined up for reading.

Kaye Barley said...

New author to me too but very intriguing! Thanks, Lesa!

Glen Davis said...

I won a copy of this in a goodreads drawing, and I'm waiting for it to come in the mail.

Charlotte said...

Glen, happy you won a copy, congratulations.
I am reading a sample of Oregon Hill by him, just started.
Our library has some of his books. I have put a hold on a copy of Oregon Hill.
Enjoy your book when you receive it.

Gram said...

He is new to me as well. Soooo...I went to the library website and found Oregon Hill and put it on my list. Thanks Lesa.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, everyone. Review from my best friend's husband - wasn't as impressed with the writing as with the story, but couldn't stop reading the story. Hooked him.