Review: Doomed Legacy – Rick Cahill #19 (Matt Coyle)

We’ve known for awhile that things are going downhill for poor Rick Cahill. A title with the word “doomed” in it – well, things aren’t looking good.

PI Rick Cahill, previously diagnosed with CTE thanks to all the various head injuries he’s sustained over the years, is not getting much better. He isn’t dead – not quite yet, anyhow – and this leaves him some time to work, be there for his family, and all those things in life people wish they did more of when they lay dying.

But he isn’t doing much in the way of working beyond doing mundane, routine things that keep him of the streets, behind his desk, and bored out of his mind. That includes things like background checks on new hires for various companies.

A business acquaintance contacts him, requesting a rather secretive meeting at an out of the way location. Why? Cahill isn’t sure, but agrees to it anyway. He humors her, as she talks to him about – what else? – background checks for her company, something they’ve always done through him, but she’s found a couple of irregulars: employees whose checks were done through another company with whom she’s not familiar and never heard of.

Cahill doesn’t think much of it, and tells her he can look into it, but it’s probably nothing. He can tell she isn’t happy, and when she ends up dead – the presumed latest victim of a violent, serial rapist in the area – he isn’t very happy either, especially when he’s explaining to the police (again) why he’s on the scene, discovering another dead body (again).

With guilt weighing on him, Cahill accepts a contract from her mother to look into her death.

Thus begins Cahill as we know him: obsessed with the case,he goes up against cops, what seems to be the evil company now doing those background checks (and who may very well be doing much more, sinister things), threats, attempts to pay him of the case, and all the things that put strain on his already strained marriage – and put his family in danger, again.

There really are two stories here, both equally good, both devastating: the actual investigatory job, at which Cahill excels, and the fallout there is to his family and how to deal with it, at which he does not. While he’s capable of unwinding the former, the latter seems beyond his grasp, and it’s rather sad, really.

Another excellent entry into the series, which makes its inevitable end, whenever that may be, sadder.

Five out of five stars.

Thanks to Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for the reading copy.

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