"Highway 61" by David Housewright: Book Review


"Highway 61" by David Housewright
Minotaur, 326 pp., $25.99
Reviewed by David Marshall James


It all begins with a favor.

For his inamorata's, Nina Truhler's, scummified ex-husband, no less.

However, Rushmore McKenzie has a soft spot for the split couple's daughter, Erica, a high-school senior.

And Erica would really (times infinity) like McKenzie to help her daddy, Jason Truhler, out of his pickle.

(Actually, his pickle is a large part of his problem.)

So, McKenzie hits Highway 61 in his beloved Audi, headed up from the Twin Cities to Thunder Bay, Canada, on the shore of Lake Superior, where Jason's woes commenced during an outdoor jazz fest.

McKenzie quickly discovers that Jason is not just in a pickle-- he's in the freakin' Heinz factory-- so he heads back to "The Cities" (St. Paul and Minneapolis), where most of the remainder of the plot transpires.

While McKenzie is backtracking on Highway 61, let's do the same: Born and raised in St. Paul, and graduated from the "U" (-niversity of Minnesota), McKenzie spent more than a decade with the Minneapolis P.D. before coming into a $3 million reward from an insurance company.

Thereafter, he switched from being a "blue knight" to a "white knight."

Or, rather, "knight in shining Audi."

Not that he seriously thinks of himself as such. He just does favors for friends-- usually someone special from his past.

Now, back to the story: Thanks to Jason Truhler and his pickle, McKenzie becomes acquainted with employees of a sophisticated cyber-prostitution operation. Moreover, he's being chased by two of The Cities' most notoriously nefarious lowlifes. As well as by others.

As the title would suggest, this novel proves to be one of author David Housewright's most fast-paced endeavors.

The author consistently creates top-grade, expertly written mysteries. There's much to like about the delectably smart-alecky Rushmore McKenzie and his insider's take on The Cities.

He's the kind of guy whom many women would like to date, and whom many men would like to have as a friend. After all, he's big on the favors.

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