Tommy has boomeranged back to his parents residence and a dead-end job after too many years in college. As he looks squarely at his next decade of life his smartphone convinces him the time is ripe for a change. A gift from his grandfather provides the means, so he embarks on the path of blues artists and beatniks before him–and hits the road.
He immediately meets a damsel in hitchhiking distress who says her name is Mona. Her presence persuades him that the bright lights and dark clubs of Chicago might be his kind of town. So on a summer Saturday night they settle into a fancy hotel overlooking the beaches of Lake Michigan.
On Sunday…Mona disappears.
But she leaves behind more than a sweet memory that involves Tommy in a brand new cash flow problem he never imagined. While trying to sort out how to stay on the right side of the law and get back on the road, he meets a young criminologist who helps him, a DJ who doesn’t, and a librarian who teaches him about the city, women, and the art of the makeover. After truth and lies are stirred like a blue martini, being assaulted by a pink monkey, and witnessing a drive-by shooting that drowns a Ferrari–Tommy is desperate to help Mona.
If he can find her.
“Missing Mona” was a fun read. It took me awhile to really get into the story but once I did the suspense had me flipping pages to unravel all those loose threads!
I have to admit that when I began the book I did not like Tommy. Not even a little. He seems like a grown man baby. He doesn’t at all seem to understand how privileged he is and he surely doesn’t appreciate it. I was more than a quarter into the book before I stopped sneering at Tommy and actually started to like him a little. His evolution as a character is one of the aspects of the book that I enjoyed the most. Because, let me tell you…if Tommy wouldn’t of started to change pretty early on there is a good chance I would of put this book down and labeled a DNF.
Beyond my immediate dislike of Tommy, the plot of “Missing Mona” is intricate and cleverly constructed. Most of the twists and turns took me completely by surprise while a few others were a bit predictable.
Now, the supporting characters is what makes this book! Klingler did a fantastic job of building Mona, Marvin, Lizz, Kim ect… They each stand out and build on the Chicago setting making the location feel more and more authentic. For a mystery, this had one of the best casts of supporting characters that I have read this year. I really can not brag on this enough. Each time a new character came into play the story became more vibrant and dug its hooks further in.
All in all, this book is cleverly written and fun to read. Klingler did a great job and this is a series I will follow in the future.
The Technical Data:
Title: Missing Mona | Series: Tommy Cuda Mysteries | Author(s): Joe Klingler |Publisher: Cartosi LLC / Publication Date: 10-23-2015 |Pages: 416 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1941156056 |Genre(s): Mystery & Suspense |Language: English |Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 10-20-2016 |Source: Copy from Author
About The Author
Joe Klingler was born in the Great Black Swamp on a hot July day during a cold war. In primary school he read Four Wheel Drift. That led to a soap box derby car named Restless, two crashes, and a lifelong love of motion.
Images of Jimi Hendrix playing the U.S. National Anthem at Woodstock inspired pounding on a Gibson in a garage band influenced by local groups like the MC5 and Iggy and Stooges whose pioneering punk music he figured existed everywhere—though it was actually coming out of Detroit, Michigan forty miles to the north.
Joe read The God Machine by Martin Caidin, and started thinking about the nature of computation. He studied electrical engineering, spent time doing research in medical image processing, published academic papers, wrote a few patents. All of which led to an interest in special effects and the software that made them. He co-founded a company that was soon acquired, leading to a string of jobs for bigger and bigger corporations until assimilation by a billion dollar enterprise gave him the idea for a book—which he wrote while moving 525 mph bouncing between the coasts of North America.
That book led to RATS, his debut novel, which draws on the beauty of technology, its uses, misuses and abuses. And how the collision of human ideologies shapes its future—and ours. A minor character in RATS led to Mash Up: a rollicking ride with student musicians through San Francisco, Silicon Valley, social media and the minds of persons who use sharp knives to solve problems.
He currently resides in California with an iMac and a couple of motorcycles, and has recently released his third novel: Missing Mona. He’s fond of turbochargers, and loves his S1000RR.
To learn more, check out Joe’s website HERE.