(creator: Alan Dale Dickinson)
|Charles W Kennedy O'Brien (who likes to be known as Charlie) is a Private Investigator in Los Angeles who travels all around the world to solve criminal cases involving white collar crimes such as bank frauds. In the book reviewed below, he calls himself a "Christian Detective" but carries two guns with him at all times and, if attacked, is quite ready to shoot to kill. It was after being shot himself that he had promised to become a Christian Detective if God would spare his life. "He did, of course."
Before becoming a P.I., he had worked for the Los Angeles Police Department as "a Homicide police detective". He had been married for thirty years when "My lovely former spouse decided all of a sudden to desert me for another man. It was kind of a shock to me." He has no "girlfriend right now, poor old Charlie, but I am praying and wishing that I did. My associates and church members are praying for that as well." But that is about all the praying he seems to do.
Alan Dale Dickinson was born in downtown Los Angeles, California, during an earthquake and, although he has traveled the globe, has never found any place he liked better than LA. After studying Accounting, Economics, Finance and Management at California State University-Fullerton, he spent thirty-five years in banking and business in and around Los Angeles. He became a Corporate Vice President of Bank of America, and, now retired, lives at La Habra, California.
His love of detective novels, movies and television programs and a life-long interest in real Private Investigators and detectives led to his first novel, Charlie O'Brien, Private Investigator, which he self-published in 2009. It was followed by four other Charlie O'Brien novels, including The Christian Detective (almost a straight copy of his first book!) reviewed below, all self-published and available on Kindle.
The Christian Detective (published on Kindle in 2012)
The plot, such as it is, involves seventy-five million dollars of embezzled funds from a big LA bank that sends Charlie off from Los Angeles to Russia and Georgia. But the author's main interest seems to be in his long and increasingly tedious asides that have nothing at all to do with the plot, and seem to come straight from him rather than from Charlie who is the story-teller throughout. He explains that he "included a little bit of personal insight that I have gleaned from my 35 years in the Banking; Business; Teaching; Real Estate; and Security professions." In practice this means that we get over 32 pages devoted to a description of the Federal Reserve System, and over 40 pages on a dissertation on "Being Content". And there are pages listing each of the wines that his clients prefer (one of which, we are told, is "fruit rich Bourdeauz Sperieur", and I don't think the spelling is meant to be funny), a comparison of housing costs then and now, a list of famous people who lived in Malibu, an inventory of valuable paintings held by the bank, a list of baseball teams, and so it goes on, and on. It really defies belief.
Apart from the author's own mistakes (he does not seem to understand that you can't just add an apostrophe to any word that ends in "s"), there are innumerable errors in the Kindle edition. Even the spacing is faulty throughout the first part of the book when a strange gap appear below every 2 or 3 lines, as shown below.
There are frequent typos (as with "form" instead of "from" in the example above). Some are just minor mistakes such as referring to "the New Scotland Yard" which it should just be "New Scotland Yard", but who is California governor "Arnold Swartenneger"? That's not the way he spells his name. And there are even references to an "attached chart" that isn't there!
|The cover looks a bit home-made, and unfortunately the Kindle edition is full of mistakes.|