Phil Allman is a gumshoe in the Raymond Chandler tradition. He is contracted to find the missing twin brother of Elvis Presley who was mistakenly believed to have been stillborn when the legendary King of Rock and Roll was born in 1933.
At first I thought the plot implausible, but Presley did in fact have a twin named Jesse Garon Presley who did not survive when their mother gave birth so it is conceivable as he was born into an impoverished family he could have been given away at birth.
The story starts slowly with the detective narrator explaining that he was an Elvis fan and why the star’s twin was adopted and registered as stillborn. Then as the tale progresses the characters take over and it becomes more interesting. Private Investigator, narrator and protagonist, Phil Allman, is well rounded, likable and struggling to come to terms with the separation from his wife and to maintain contact with his eleven year old daughter while at the same time unravelling the mystery surrounding Elvis’s twin. Characters are expertly introduced and neatly described with amusing asides from Allman. His search for Jesse Garon is intriguing and is complicated by some murders he encounters along the way.
The novel is well crafted and absorbing and, because of my concern for the wellbeing of the central character, I was compelled to read on to the end. The author is a talented storyteller. His skill in this genre is clearly evident and he should be congratulated. I can thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.