Gabriel F.W. Koch
Outskirts Press (2018)
Reviewed by Jennifer Wilson for Reader Views (1/19)
“And Come Day’s End” by Gabriel F.W Koch is what I would call a classic style, hardened detective novel set-in present-day New York.
Michael McKaybees is a private detective working on a case involving a runaway teen boy when his world is shaken by the untimely murder of his good friend. It doesn’t help that his name is found at the scene leaving the police looking at him for answers. McKaybees, a former FBI agent and Gulf War veteran, becomes like a pit bull with a rib bone to see that his friend’s murderer is found and brought to justice, hopefully clearing his own name in the process.
When the body count starts rising and his long estranged, mysterious father appears seemingly out of nowhere, the lines between right and wrong, legal and not, get a little blurry. For thirty plus years he made it just fine without the man who gave him life, but not much else. Michael really isn’t interested in reconciliation now. However, there’s just something about the old man that draws you in and demands your respect. Possibly the book’s most intriguing character, Michael’s father is one of a kind, a man you love to hate.
This book has an extremely complex storyline. I occasionally got lost in the curves and angles and had to go back once or twice and re-read a little to comprehend all the details. I was kept guessing until the author saw fit to fill me in on who was pulling what strings when. There were several twists and surprises. A couple that left me with my mouth agape and my eyes wide. There are well developed and interesting characters and relationships throughout. I particularly enjoyed the connection between Michael and his ex. Liz. I still don’t know if I want them to reconcile or if I want him to pursue a relationship with his awesome partner Martha.
“And Come Day’s End” by Gabriel F.W Koch is very well written and as I said, the characters have real substance. Michael McKaybees is witty and sarcastic – sometimes struggling between the angel on his right shoulder and the devil on his left, but in the middle lies a heart of gold. Someone who genuinely cares about the greater good and seeing the “bad guys” brought to real justice. In closing, I think fans of the mystery genre will really enjoy this book. In my opinion, Michael McKaybees is a protagonist who can stand the test of time. I think Koch’s writing shows that he could give us many more captivating novels in the future.