When I finished reading this I heard “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses blaring on my XM/Sirius boombox, very fitting. This was my first read on a David Levien novel and it will not be my last. The character he has created in Frank Behr is nothing short of amazing and satisfying. He is fractured yet looking to seal the cracks kind of hero that had me enthralled the entire read. The code of ethics that Levien has instilled in him is simple, strong and unbreakable. It seems nothing about Frank Behr gives, he is just a straight forward juggernaut of righteousness that won’t stop till he has all the answers no matter good or bad they are. Picture your favorite dog on ‘roids with the intent to chew his favorite bone till he is done, then you have Frank Behr. The surrounding cast of characters are just fun; he introduces one that I hope will be a great partner for Frank in new novels, my fingers are crossed. Personally I would like to read a stand-alone novel with this character in it, possibly as a retro novel, a prequel to get more of the man, as what was shown here was very tightly controlled. My suggestion at the bear minimum is to get this on your to read list ASAP, but I suggest getting it into your hands as quick as possible and go for the blistering ride, the ending is like being shot out of a cannon in circus, watching all three rings pass under you.
Here is the synopsis:
“The bestselling author of City of the Sun returns with a relentlessly taut new novel featuring enigmatic private investigator Frank Behr and the American heartland setting that has won David Levien critical acclaim.
In an Indianapolis underground parking structure, Frank Behr is on an executive protection detail for Bernard “Bernie Cool” Kolodnik, a hard-driving business mogul on the verge of making a move into big-time Indiana politics. Behr is working for an exclusive investigation company, and it’s an uncomfortable fit, both literally and philosophically. The uneasy stability is quickly rocked by a burst of automatic weapons fire as an attempt is made on the prominent client, and Behr manages to protect him and repel the attackers. Though Behr is celebrated for his heroism, he can’t help but investigate what happened in that garage—and why the Indianapolis cops seem to be burying the incident.
As David Levien has masterfully done in his previous novels, he weaves a crime story that is teeming with real characters and electric energy—centered on the brooding psyche of Frank Behr. Thirteen Million Dollar Pop is unyieldingly compelling and will give readers yet another reason to enlist with this superbly talented writer. “