Monday 14 February 2022




Serial killer’s message to PI Jake Longly: Two of those seven murders I confessed to are not mine—but I won’t tell you which two.

Jake Longly and Nicole Jamison are confronted with the most bizarre case yet. Serial killer Billy Wayne Baker now denies that two of his seven murders were actually his work. An anonymous benefactor, who believes Billy Wayne’s denials, has hired Longly Investigations to prove Billy Wayne right. Billy Wayne had confessed to all seven. Not only did the confessed serial killer have the motive, means, and opportunity for murder, but his DNA was found at each crime scene. Bizarre doesn’t quite cover it.

Jake and Nicole travel to the small Gulf Coast town of Pine Key, Florida, where three of the murders occurred. The local police, FBI, state prosecutor, and crime lab each did their jobs, uncovered overwhelming evidence of Billy Wayne’s guilt—and even extracted a full confession. Is Billy Wayne simply trying to tweak the system to garner another fifteen minutes of fame? It’s likely all a game to him, but, if he’s being truthful—someone out there is getting away with multiple murders. How? Why? And most importantly, who?

Dark clouds loom in the Sunshine State.

Sunshine State is the third in Lyle's Jake Longly series, following on from Deep Six and A-List and it was another enjoyable, entertaining read.

I liked the quirkiness of the tale. A convicted murderer who confessed to his crimes, claims to be innocent of two of the seven murders he was convicted of. Jake interviews him and believes him. I;m not a massive fan of the serial killer book, but here it's approached from the other side.

Jake, Nicole, Pancake and his dad, Ray try to unpick Billy Wayne's crimes to find the most likely cases that could conceivably have been committed by another party and then do some digging.

I like the characters involved in the investigation, all of whom I've met before. I like the dynamics between them all and the banter. The story itself was interesting and with the convicted killer's DNA found at all the crime scenes, if he hasn't killed two of the people, there are only a limited number of suspects who could have manipulated the scene. Lyle, kind of wrong-footed me in the suspect stakes.

Really enjoyable, a bit of a page-turner and all the elements I like in a book - story, pace, characters, setting and outcome. 

4.5 from 5

Read - January, 2022
Published - 2019
Page count - 344
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle


  1. Hmmm...I'm not usually one for the serial killer motif, either, Col, but it sounds as though this one takes a different perspective, and I respect that. I like the sound of Jake's character, too. And for some reason, Florida seems like a good setting for this one. Glad you liked it.

    1. Margot, it was really enjoyable insofar as we worked backwards from the murders, as opposed to the tiresome race against time to catch the mad killer trope. Florida takes a bit of beating as a setting, though I have many other favourites as well!