The Next Time You Die

THE NEXT TIME YOU DIE, HARRY HUNSICKER ’s second detective caper featuring hard-luck investigator Lee Henry Oswald, should earn Dallas a colored pushpin on the wisecracking-gumshoe map for its double-trouble combo of mean streets and meaner thugs. Hunsicker is wily and playful, with the audacity to name his series’ protagonist with an ironic nod to JFK’s alleged assassin and the smarts to understand that Oswald jokes have a short shelf life. Much in the mold of Hunsicker’s debut, Still River, private eye Oswald takes on a job that promises easy money for little effort—recovering a personnel file folder stolen from a besotted Baptist preacher—but what seemed a bird’s nest on the ground turns out to be a scorpion’s lair. In the course of unraveling the byzantine plot, Oswald takes a licking or two at the hands of a wack-job killer, but expect him to be healed up and fighting crime on the banks of the Trinity River come this time next year. St. Martin’s, $23.95

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