I was hooked (excuse the pun) in the first few pages. I could picture the lake, mountains and atmosphere just from the reading. The first event was timed just right, if things take too long to occur interest can be lost, Jack got it just perfect. From there on in I could not wait to read the rest. The characters being introduced a few at a time was great. They all blended in well and added to the story. I liked how Tyler's (the main character) and Hannah's relationship developed. The kids meeting was very well done also, I remember the awkwardness of first introductions to the opposite sex and this was captured brilliantly. While the main theme was finding the murderer/s other things were going on too which opened up other directions. The conclusion was unexpected and as good as I have come to expect from this author. At times I did think the descriptions were rather convoluted but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the story. All in all I think Jack has another winner on his hands....I certainly hope so.
Rex Royale is a highly enjoyable book, a gripping mystery with believable characters whose feelings and predicaments pull you right into the story. Jack Erickson has an almost uncanny depth of insight into how human beings--young, old, male, female, rich, poor, guilty and innocent--think, feel, and behave.
I especially liked how the point of view shifted between the two main characters, Tyler and Hannah. These two journalists are compelled by circumstances to work together to report on the murder, and as they get to know each other, it's quite entertaining to get inside each character's head and heart via this special technique.
Rex himself is an intriguing character. Rich and powerful, he nonetheless exhibits a very sweet vulnerability and even a little boy quality in the delightful scene when he shares his family photos with Hannah: His eyes lit up, and he clapped his hands. "Want to see something else?"
There's a satisfying balance in this book between the heavier, murder-related parts and the lighter, even humorous, aspects. It has been a long time since I read a murder mystery in which the comic relief left such a lasting impression that I giggled for days afterwards. Such was the case for me with Vince Harley, the local cop who is a living comedy of errors. As Jack Erickson has done in his other works, he offers delightful humor throughout the book.
As Hannah and Tyler investigate Rex's murder, they plan to attend a fundraiser where various suspects will be present. Hannah comments to Tyler, "Get them in their own environment, and they're more likely to open up a bit." This is just one of the many excellent observations about life and human behavior offered by Jack Erickson in this engaging novel.
As an animal lover, I felt that Hannah's black Lab, Rusty, added a very nice dimension to the book. I liked it that Rusty even played an important role in the story's ending.
The story is set in a peaceful, scenic area of Northern California with a beautiful lake and Mt. Shasta in the background. For me, this gorgeous setting added to the book's appeal.
As the excitement builds in the final chapters, Rex Royale becomes a true page-turner. From the hilarious, bumbling cop to the surprising, dramatic twists, this book is one entertaining ride!
There was too much detail of scenery and places that were not so relevant to the plot. I enjoyed the plot and was surprised by the outcome but there were times when details detracted from it. A pity because I've enjoyed all the other books by this author.