Have you ever taken the time to view the lights of any thriving metropolis during the night time hours?  It is a beautiful and mystical sight to be sure.  The city is like a virtual living entity unto itself.  An undulating array of sights, sounds, smells and actions.  However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this hypnotic cascade of twinkling lights is all fun and games.  Indeed, in any large city a seedy underbelly definitely exists.  Full of devious and unsavory individuals.  To survive and thrive in such a challenging atmosphere requires grim determination and a whole host of special “talents.”  Sound intriguing?  If so, then The Big Bopper by author Reb MacRath is a top-notch and thrilling crime mystery which will be right up your reading alley!

The story takes place in the Emerald City- otherwise known as Seattle.  Diminutive Diogenes Baryshnikov (D.B.), has been sent to the city by Boss MacTavin to lead an insurance claims investigation unit.  Being a skilled martial artist and no stranger to the rough and tumble, D.B. figures this new gig will be a breeze!  He does have a few conditions put upon him by Boss (such as no fighting or hacking), but although that handicaps him somewhat, they should still be easily overcome.  After he assembles a crack team D.B. gets to work.  However, he soon finds out that there is much more to all of this than meets the eye.  There is some serious fraud going on which seems to involve some very heavy hitters in town.  As D.B. and his team get closer to the truth they quickly discover that this is no mere case of fraud.  The closer they get to the answers the more serious it all becomes… and the more the bodies start to pile up!  Will Boss, D.B. and his team come out on top?  Or are they all destined to be “hobbled” in a way they never imagined?

There can be no doubt that this is a fast moving, intelligent and intricate tale.  It is multi-layered and will quickly engage and engross the reader.  There are a number of key events happening within the main story as it is definitely not just about an insurance scam gone wrong!  There is non-stop action, murders and constant plot twists and turns which are designed to keep the reader guessing right until the very end.  It is one of those books which will test your own detective skills as you eagerly read along.  The author’s writing flows beautifully as he incorporates nail-biting suspense with a quick wit and humor throughout the chapters.  The pace is relentless and thrilling.  Also, he interestingly breaks down the novel into quarters (just like a football game), and they are presented from the differing perspectives of Boss and D.B.  This allows the reader to have direct access to the thoughts and perspectives of the two and thus leads to a deeper overall understanding of the story events.

In regards to the characters, there are a number of quirky, dynamic and unusual players in this novel.  From the strong-willed and drop dead gorgeous Suzy and Ammy to the powerful and devious Amande.  There is also D.B.’s team which consists of the beautiful and no nonsense Starr and her significant other, the powerhouse Duncan.  They are all supported in their endeavors by Sax who is the epitome of the term, “more than meets the eye.”  All that being said, this is really D.B.’s story with Boss MacTavin acting as a solid backup.  We are able to see D.B.’s growth and outright metamorphosis from the rough around the edges pint-sized muscle, to the much smoother Chief of the Seattle BOP.  He is the character who experiences the most growth throughout the novel and it totally suits him!  It leaves the reader eagerly anticipating meeting back up with him in future novels.

All in all, I would highly recommend this novel to fans of the genre.  It is exceptionally well written and downright clever and intriguing.  There are some adult themes so it would be recommended for an adult audience.

5 out of 5 Bopping Stars for this one!