Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is a gripping suspense thriller set in New Orleans. The main character, Cleveland Jones, isn't a cop anymore, but a veteran who minds his own business running a homeless shelter. His life takes a dangerous turn when he is suspected of killing the two sons of a friend, Margaret, and she wants him to find the real killer, as she feels she won't get justice from the police. As one victim leads to another, Jones (also known as Mr. J) realizes he is on the trail of a vicious killer, but he has to clear his name. What follows is a taut murder mystery that will satisfy the biggest crime drama fan.
Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is immediately engrossing, pulling you into the dark side of New Orleans with a few characters you never want to meet in person, but know they're there, lurking in the shadows; and a few characters you wish were around all the time. Guinness is a pro at writing lean and tight, with palpable descriptions and well-paced action. I liked several things about this crime novel. The unique setting and characters, especially Jones and his buddy Chill. Jones is realistic and likable. I liked that it's an everyday guy hunting for the killer, not an active detective. I liked the logical flow of the story. While reading, you feel that the author knows what he's doing, and really enjoys the genre. He builds his world with ease, energy, and grit, making you rush through pages to find out what happens next. He grounds the story in a lot of relevant details about New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, prison life, running a shelter, etc., without slowing the story. Guinness's style takes you back to hardboiled crime dramas of earlier days, where anything goes, and no punches are pulled. Fans of James Patterson's Alex Cross novels and Tarantino's Pulp Fiction should pick up Loose Lips by Mack Guinness.