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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Labyrinth: A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery Book 8 by Owen Parr is a twisty tale of murder and mystery. When New York politician Marcus Stevens hires Joey Mancuso and his private investigation team to solve the murder of his wife, it appears as though he wants closure for the cold case. His wife was murdered a year ago and as Joey begins the investigation, he and his team uncover deeper layers of crime. In a city like Brooklyn, infested with criminal gangs where the murder took place, it becomes a labyrinth to navigate, and the path becomes more dangerous with each new discovery in the case. Joey’s wife is pregnant and as the investigation progresses, her life and the lives of those in the PI team become increasingly endangered. Things don’t get any better with Joey unwittingly reconnecting with his first girlfriend in high school. The biggest challenge is uncovering the link between the cold case and Marcus Stevens’ political ambitions.
This is a gorgeously written story packed with twists and surprises. Told in an engrossing first-person narrative voice, the novel features compelling characters, including Joey, Father Dominic, and Agnes —researcher, hacker — and a slew of other characters like Joey’s wife, Special Agent Marcy. While the novel is written in crisp and dazzling prose, what sustained my attention and had me racing through the pages was the wonderfully written dialogues. The investigative questions are spot-on, the dialogues are clever and they move the plot forward while unveiling layers of the characters. It is fast-paced and emotionally electrifying, and Owen Parr has the knack of taking readers to unexpected places as they follow the characters through the maze. The Labyrinth is a delightful entry into the series and it reads well as a standalone novel.