Moments before he is executed, the killer of the daughter of Hub Walker, a famous Vietnam War pilot and hero, makes a startling allegation, claiming that the real murderer is a close friend of Walker's, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days digging up information that will refute the convicted killer's groundless but widely reported claims and will help restore his friend's good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is Cordell Logan, sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist, and retired military assassin.
A Medal of Honor recipient married to a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, Hub Walker resides in the swanky San Diego enclave of La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Logan is convinced that working for Walker will be little more than a paid vacation - a chance not only to rub shoulders with a living legend but also to rekindle his own relationship with his enticing ex-wife, Savannah. But after flying to San Diego in his beloved aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, Logan is quickly drawn into a vexing and deadly jigsaw puzzle. The deeper he digs, the murkier the truth appears and the more danger he encounters. Who really killed the war hero's daughter, and why? Somebody in "America's Finest City" wants to keep Logan from asking questions and will stop at nothing to silence him.
©2013 David Freed (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"In Freed's crackling second mystery...the appealing Logan, a wise-cracking, marriage-challenged loner trying to practice Buddhist tenets, proves his mettle as both pilot and investigator." (Publishers Weekly)
"Cordell Logan, the Southern California flight instructor and former black-ops specialist, returns in his second adventure.... As in Flat Spin, Freed combines an intriguing mystery with some engaging banter from the Spenser-like hero and several exciting flying scenes. When Logan is in the air, Freed's series really takes off." (Booklist
"Freed's skills as a reporter, screenwriter, and pilot made his first Logan tale (Flat Spin) a delight, and this one continues that roller-coaster pleasure. Logan is a stubborn, wise-cracking, ordinary guy with some extraordinary skills and a passion for flying. He does have a few problems following the Buddha's precepts on nonviolence, but readers will eagerly look forward to his further attempts to combine flying and detection." (Library Journal)
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"Great Story, Bad Narration"
Freed did a masterful job once again putting together an incredible story that had me engaged from beginning to end... The problem? I couldn't wait for the end to arrive! Keith Szarabajka's narration, in my opinion, was a flat, dull, mind numbingly boring portrayal of Cordell Logan that I've come accustomed to hearing from Ray Porter.. It reminded me of Walter Cronkite reading a play... He made every single character sound like a 70 yr old stoner who could care less about whatever "intense" moment they were apart of.. It was as though he was reading the book to elementary kids with the way he used his inflections... It was very sad to hear actually... David Freed is a terrific author and the Cordell Logan books are among the best I've read/heard to date.. If it had been Ray Porter on narration this book would've easily gotten 5 stars across the board... Unfortunately that was not the case.. The story was good enough though to pull the horrendous narration along and find a 4 star...
"It's just not the same without Ray Porter"
Sure, Book 2 will tie into Book 3. I had to listen to it.
The end of it.
Sure, like I said, I needed to get to Book 3
I'm sure Book 2 was as good as Book 1, but I wanted to be listening to Ray Porter. I just simply couldn't wait for it to be over so I could listen to Mr. Porter narrate Book 3.
"Disappointing Follow Up. Skip This One."
"Flat Spin's" the first in the Cordell Logan series. So much promise. It is giggle-aloud funny and plotted tighter than a pilot's yoke hand. "Fang's Out" is neither. In fact it thuds into the ground around chapter 20. Apparently Freed spun himself into a plot dive he couldn't right so he invented some angels to rescue him... or a god. It's called deus ex machina - and it's the cheapest old trick - or the oldest cheap trick - since ancient Greek playwrights painted themselves into corners only to be saved by improbable miraculous devices to pluck them from distress. It hopelessly cheats an audience who've invested time and trust in an author's talent.
Baaaaah! Oh, Keith Szarabajka does what he does well enough. not his fault that the plane he's riding in crashes. Everything afterward is fruit of a poisoned tree. I'll read the reviews VERY carefully before investing another credit in Freed's work.
"Not as bad, Not as good"
Keith Szarabajka's performance was not as bad as many of the reviews suggest, so I'm glad I wasn't dissuaded. Again, great characters and possibly a better plot than the previous installment. Something about book two though was not as good as the debut of the series. Sorry, maybe it was a cliffhanger-ish ending or that I can't grow a fondness for Savannah? Either way, I look forward to continuing the series.
"Why would you get rid of Ray Porter"
Seriously. I started reading this series because Ray Porter was the reader. I like the books, well done with edgy humor that Porter does so well. Then I load book 2 and start listening and it's not Ray Porter! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot guys, really I don't know who the reader is. For me his name is "Not Ray Porter". I am skipping book two. I will be returning it. Next time Ray Porter has another gig, wait till he's done with it. I'm on to book 3. I'll deal with the gap. No Ray Porter = No!
PS I am giving the story et al 5 stars 'cause I'm sure it's good. The narration gets the no Ray Porter star; 1, cause that's the lowest I can give it.
"Booooo! What happened to Ray Porter???"
Still a very good story, but sorry Keith, you don't hold a candle to Ray Porter's narration. He was a large part of why I loved the first story. Bring Ray Porter back!!!!!
"My fave Cordell Logan book so far."
In the upper middle class. The only thing that holds it down is the performance of Keith S., who is just not the narrator that Ray Porter is.
I think that David Freed has grown into himself and become more comfortable with his characters as the series progresses. Logan still takes chances that lesser men would avoid. His relationship with the stunningly beautiful Savannah continues to be an up-and-down thing, so to speak. I find myself rooting for them as a couple, and the end of this book, which I will not spoil for you, points to an increasing level of intimacy between the lovers. Both are good and likable people. It's hard to identify with Logan, given his presumably CIA history and his access to law enforcement personnel all over the place, but one can like him as a protagonist without identifying with him. This book reads smoothly, and is not weighted down with Logan's need to document every single high-level quasi-military skill in his arsenal. This is a plot that interests the reader, and the denouement is satisfying, particularly given what I just insinuated about the final statement of the book. (I'm such a tease. You get the pleasure of reading and discovering it on your own.) Enjoy.
I just don't think that he has the dramatic skills that Ray Porter has. The voices sometimes blend together so that it is occasionally hard to hear who is talking. I do like the whispery/gravelly tone that he often uses. He doesn't do Mrs. Schmulevich with anything like the skill and affection that Ray Porter has. Obviously I don't know anything about the ins and outs of the contracts here, but my vote would be to have Mr. Porter narrate the rest of the series, however long that may be.
Logan's affection for his landlady is particularly intense when she is hospitalized and within days of dying. Both narrators read this relationship with the sensitivity it needs. It is satisfying to hear how Logan notices that he cares a good deal more for her than he thinks he is capable of caring for another person. This relationship is well-written, full of kidding and humor; underlying the witty banter are two people who derive a lot of love from the connection, proving to themselves that they are not the tough loners that they pretend to be. Do NOT kill off Mrs. Schmulevich! I can taste her brisket!
"Loving this series"
The very best heroes are those with a sense of humor. I love this hero and the other characters in this series as well. I did notice that other reviews said the narration was bad. Not so. Not Ray Porter but not bad. Now off to the next book in the series!
"Another good read"
The second book is as good as the first - great writing and love all the characters. Especially the cat.
"Book one and Three were really good"
I think it was the narrator. If you haven't listen to his books by Ray Porter, you may think this one is okay. There were also dull parts.
It lacked the sardonic humor of book 1 and 3.
Ray Porter, he did the other books and they were 4 or 5 star.
The ending was sad.
Try his books with Ray Porter narrating.
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