Adam Jordan is a newspaperman renowned for his ability to report the facts and pump out print in quick fashion. His job revolves around crime as a spectator after the event until a beauty queen is found murdered followed by a succession of others. Retiring the pen and pad for a slice of the detective life, Jordan soon learns that crime is everywhere and can be committed anyone – even those close to you.
FALSE NEGATIVE is a delicious pulp. It’s got the PI angle wrapped up without actually being about a hardboiled sleuth as Jordan falls into the investigation by virtue of a seemingly lacking commitment by the authorities to uncover the killer.
I liked the unconventional approach author Joseph Koenig took to FALSE NEGATIVE. At its core, it’s a murder mystery in traditional pulp vein, yet Jordan’s everyday life and day job are paramount throughout the course of events. The protagonist wasn’t painted in such a manner as to be the hero, rather, his drive for good print and a beautiful front page for Real Detective magazine threw him into a violent and confronting world.
FALSE NEGATIVE delivers in spades; gory killings, beautiful victims, unconventional hero, sinister suspects, and some truly memorable characters.
FALSE NEGATIVE was Joseph Koenig’s first novel in 20yrs and by all account different from his previous efforts (I haven’t read his others) – I sure hope he continues to write these stories. Adam Jordan is a character that has got a few more escapades left in him at Real Detective magazine.