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Dead West: Nils Shapiro #4    by Matt Goldman order for
Dead West
by Matt Goldman
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dead West is the fourth (following The Shallows) in Matt Goldman's mystery series starring Minneapolis PI Nils Shapiro, though the first that I have read.

As the novel opens, Nils is hired by wealthy Beverly Mayer (whose husband Arthur 'rode shotgun in a vehicle called marriage') to investigate her grandson Ebben's use of his trust fund. Though in her twenties, Ebben's fiancée Juliana died suddenly of heart failure, and Beverly fears that he will squander his inheritance.

At her request, Nils flies to LA to attend a celebration of Juliana's life. His six-foot-seven-inches friend Jameson White (a nurse practitioner with a giant Afro) accompanies him. Jameson knows LA, but Nils is also hoping the change of scene will help Jameson get over dealing with the results of a school shooting, that made him fall aparty.

In LA, Nils quickly concludes that Juliana was murdered, though he has no idea why. He warns Ebben that his life may be in danger. Ebben has started a Creative Collective to directly fund artists, hoping for exceptional results - could this be a factor? After someone tries to run Ebben off the road, he hires Jameson as a bodyguard while Nils investigates.

A sinister Russian with an eye patch keeps showing up and making threats. There's a murder, a kidnapping, and an entanglement of Hollywood finances, all leading to a race against time for Nils to save his client. Dead West is an intriguing, witty mystery and I look forward to more of Nils and Jameson.

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