The Fat Man

L. E. Hansen
Outskirts Press (2016)
ISBN 9781478772149
Reviewed By Michel Violante for Reader Views (03/17)

“The Fat Man” by L. E. Hansen begins when Jake Underman, writer and handyman, was woken up by a phone call from his friend Paulie, a Willow Point PD, who called him to question him about the beating he received the previous night. But Jake couldn’t remember much, all he knew is that he was at a bar and all of sudden someone hit him on his previously injured side. Paulie tells Jake to stay home and that he would stop by to check on him later. Jake agrees, and steps outside only to pick up his mail, finding a package on his lawn covered with grass. He brings it inside, but doesn’t pay any attention to it and goes back to bed.

When Paulie stops by and questions him some more, Jake tells him that his dog did not want to let him go to lock up his workshop when he was getting ready to leave for the bar. Paulie decides to check it out and finds that the workshop had been turned upside down. Jake determines that the only thing missing was a cracked leg from the Berger’s dining table that he had taken from their mansion, assuming it was left there for him to fix. The next day Jake remembers the package, and opens it to find heroin. He decides to call Paulie. When he gets there and sees the package, he tells Jake that the Police department is working on a missing boy case, which they believe has to do with heroin. But why did Jake receive the heroin? Why did someone beat him up? Why would someone beak into his shop for a cracked table leg? Jake is determined to find some answers, but what is he getting into?

L. E. Hansen presents readers with a well-written, page-turning mystery which I found difficult to put down.  The colorful setting and characters are as genuine, likeable, and entertaining as the narrator himself is. The plot is intriguing and filled with twists, which felt like a cat and mouse game between reader and author. I definitely enjoyed the plot, well-developed unique characters, and even the narrator’s voice. I don’t know if this is Hansen’s first mystery, but will look into it and follow her for more!

“The Fat Man” by L. E. Hansen is a ‘must read’ mystery, certain to add fans to this author’s followers list. I recommend it as a Five-Star read to all mystery lovers for sure!

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