Barclay, 2002, 15.95, 320 pp.
Ohio private investigator Mike Holmes offers his New York City friend and colleague Darren Camponi some easy work. A university hired Mike who subcontracted to Darren to locate a former employee Jason Caufield who the school claims stole intellectual property. Darren knows the mark as he went to Merrick High School with him.
Though wary of cases that seem too easy like this one in which he only has to report the locale of Caufield, Darren begins his investigation only to quickly learn that the college is not the only bureaucracy interested in the missing Jason. The FBI wants to find him too and they pressure Darren to drop his search. However being a native Long Islander, Camponi refuses to quit at any costs. Still when he finds Jason, he learns the intellectual property is a time machine that needs testing, but will the beleaguered Darren be willing to serve as guinea pig?
John Misak provides fans with an amusing exhilarating hard-boiled private investigative tale that is fun to read because of the hard case mentality of the lead protagonist. Darren fills the plot with zest as he struggles with the Feds, the university, and even NYPD to complete his mission. Though the minor dab of science fiction seems out of place within this wild ride, Mr. Misak somehow effortlessly switches the genre so that the audience like Darren half believe that Jason has invented what he claims. Perhaps the only error in TIME STAND STILL is that Manhattan has no 43rd Avenue. This is a terrific detective tale worth reading.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner