Family Secrets by Cloud Kurtin

four stars

Detective Frank Wilson anxiously awaits a call to pick up Hans Bergman from the airport. His favorite history teacher back in Germany, Frank hadn’t seen Hans in thirty years. What begins as a wonderfully anticipated moment turns into a horrific scene when Frank responds to a robbery, only to find out that the dead victim is none other than Hans. One mystery leads to the next as Wilson and his detective partner Pete Hobbs go around in circles in their attempt to capture the evil perpetrator. All evidence seems to point to a Mafia group simply called “The Family.” But as the pair incorporates various tactics, they are in for a big surprise when they finally discover the real culprit.

Cloud Kurtin pens a story with an Abbott and Costello bent to it. Kurtin has created next generation detective duos that are quick on the draw. Minus slapstick, Kurtin’s short story is replete with all the nuances befitting a modern-day version of classic comedy routine. Kurtin’s plot is not only fast paced, but also quickly evolves into a chain of cumulative events that quickly gets complicated. Although readers will have no trouble connecting clues, Kurtin does throw in a few unexpected situations, which breaks up the monotony. Kurtin’s narrative has both a drawback and advantage. Because of the plot’s fast-moving scenes, this style of story writing is best appreciated not in book form, but as a TV or live stage act. That said, Kurtin’s comedic line of thinking offers great potential for present and future scripts that can be turned into live or on-screen performances. Family Secrets is a fun read and suitable to classic comedy aficionados.