Book Review of ‘Turn On the Heat’ by Erle Stanley Gardner
Turn On the Heat by Erle Stanley Gardner was first published in 1940. This is the second book in The Cool-Lam series. The Cool & Lam Mysteries were very famous when they were written in the 40s.
Opening Lines: I opened the door marked Bertha Cool – Confidential Investigations – Entrance.
Page count: 292 pages
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
A man named Mr.Smith hires Bertha Cool Detective services, to locate a woman named Amelia Lintig, who mysteriously disappeared along with her husband twenty years prior in middle of her divorce.
Bertha hands the case to one his best detective Donald Lam, who knows how to find a needle from the haystack.
Arriving in Oakview, Donald finds many hard leads, but every lead puts him in dangerous situations. As Donald finds more clues to missing Mrs. Lintig, The bodies begin to pile up, and Donald finds a corrupt cop on his trail.
Turn On the Heat has a multilayered mystery. Each layer more dangerous than the other. As you near the end, you find yourself in a quagmire so dark and deep, that you have to remind yourself to breathe.
Every turns and twist feels more dangerous and maze-like. Till the very end, readers are left guessing about the mysterious secret of Amelia Lintigs whereabouts.
As this being my first Gardner read, I was pretty impressed with the storyline. The whole book had a very mysterious air to it. And the storyline bowled me over.
The book is the first-person narrative. We get to see the whole story in Donald Lam’s perspective. Calm, calculative and collected.
Turn On the Heat could have been a 5 star, if not for the characters. I guess, characters have a very important role in making or breaking a good book. The characters in the had very cold and detached feeling to them. I failed to see any emotions.
The only thing I liked about the characters was the camaraderie between Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, but even that was short lived.
I don’t know about the other books in the series, but this book was kind of a letdown in an emotional sense.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
About the Author
Erle Stanley Gardner
Born: July 17, 1889, in Malden, Massachusetts
Died: March 11, 1970
Erle Stanley Gardner was an American lawyer and author of detective stories who also published under the pseudonyms A.A. Fair, Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Les Tillray, and Robert Parr.
Innovative and restless in his nature, he was bored by the routine of legal practice, the only part of which he enjoyed was trial work and the development of trial strategy. In his spare time, he began to write for pulp magazines, which also fostered the early careers of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. He created many different series characters for the pulps, including the ingenious Lester Leith, a “gentleman thief” in the tradition of Raffles, and Ken Corning, a crusading lawyer who was the archetype of his most successful creation, the fictional lawyer and crime-solver Perry Mason, about whom he wrote more than eighty novels. With the success of Perry Mason, he gradually reduced his contributions to the pulp magazines, eventually withdrawing from the medium entirely, except for non-fiction articles on travel, Western history, and forensic science.
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