Monday 21 February 2022

D. P. LYLE - THE OC (2021)


Thrill-a-minute crime fiction—infused with wry humor

Restaurant owner and former professional baseball player Jake Longly is hoping for a few weeks of fun with Nicole Jamison in the warm Orange County, CA sun—The OC, baby. After that, they'll be on their way to LA for the filming of Nicole's sure-to-be-a-hit screenplay.

On arrival, they discover that Nicole's friend Megan Weatherly, a local TV reporter, has picked up an anonymous stalker. Megan downplays any real danger, but her new intern Abby, as well as Jake and Nicole, don't agree. Bit by bit, as the harassment escalates and the shadowy man invades Megan's world, Jake calls in the big guns from back home in Alabama: Ray and Pancake. But will Ray's military black ops experience and Pancake's technical skills be enough to expose the predator in time?

The stalker is no fool and likely has a predatory history. He makes no mistakes and manages to cover his trail completely. So, how do you identify and locate the untraceable? How do you protect Megan from a potentially lethal phantom?

Suddenly the sunshine and safety of The OC seem more facade than reality. Jake and crew must punch through that facade and dig into the dark world of celebrity stalking. The clock is ticking.

Another enjoyable outing in the company of Jake Longly and girlfriend, Nicole. This time instead of the usual Gulf Coast setting we have an LA mystery concerning a stalker.

LA setting, celebrity stalking, escalations, a TV reporter, an investigation, uncovering a history of similar events - all with worrying outcomes.

I enjoyed this one a bit more than Rigged, the previous one in the series. Quite topical in the sense of a kind of  #MeToo scenario though there is a difference here. It's deplorable in that it's everywoman's worst nightmare - an unseen enemy, a potentially physical future threat, with an immediate emotional distress and anxiety. 

It's a serious subject, but still handled with a lighter, humorous touch in the some of the character interactions.

I've crammed all five of author D. P. Lyle's Jake Longly mysteries into one month's reading and it was time well spent. If he's back with a sixth, deal me in.

4 from 5

The previous four were -  Deep SixA-List, Sunshine State and Rigged.  

Read - January, 2022
Published - 2021
Page count - 305
Source - review copy from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Format - Kindle


  1. I really must read some Lyle, Col. These are interesting characters, and this one sounds both timely and engaging. Interesting idea, too, to move them to L.A. for this story - I like the contrast between the two places.

    1. I'd be very interested to see what you think of his work, Margot when you get there. I liked the change of scenery for this one.