Review: The Shallows by Matt Goldman

The Shallows by Matt Goldman, Forge, 2019, mystery fiction.

This is the third of Goldman’s Nils Shapiro novels, and it’s another good one.

The Plot: A prominent lawyer is found dead, tied to his own dock by a fishing stringer through his jaw, and everyone wants Minnesota private detective Nils Shapiro to protect them from suspicion: The unfaithful widow who hires him to find out what happened, by whom and why. Her artist boyfriend, who thinks he may be a suspect. The lawyer’s firm, who wants to make sure the company reputation stays squeaky clean.

There is also an election coming in November, and a very (very!) right wing Congressional candidate may be involved.

With the local suburban police department unable to handle much more than DUI and violation of fishing license laws, Stone Arch Investigations, Nils and partners PI business, is invited to help solve the crime and the questions it raises. Then the big city cops get involved. Then the FBI.

Nils and his investigative partners illuminate a sticky web of secrets and deceit that draws national attention. But finding the web doesn’t prevent Nils from getting caught in it. Just when his safety is most in peril, his personal life takes an unexpected twist, facing its own snarl of surprise and deception.

I really enjoyed Goldman’s first two mysteries featuring private investigator Nils Shapiro, Gone to Dust,(2017) and Broken Ice (2018). I grabbed this one as soon as I could get my hands on it and finished it in a day and a half, pretty fast reading for me. Good stuff, recommended.

What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Review: The Shallows by Matt Goldman

  1. tracybham says:

    This sounds very good. You are pointing me to too many new authors to try, I will never find time.

    I finally finished If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr. It took me over a week to read it. It was a good read but longish and the part set in Germany in 1934 was harrowing to read. I did take a break towards the end of July to read two graphic novels by Warren Ellis: Aetheric Mechanics and Ignition City. Both were very good.

    • It IS very good, Tracy, all three of them are, and I encourage you to try the first one. It’s been a while, but I read some Warren Ellis graphic works and liked them. I’ll look for those. See below, apparently Steve liked it too.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Read The Chain by Adrian McKinty which I liked. It was a lot different than his other books. Now halfway through Shameless, the new novel by Ace Atkins. It is very good so far.
    I read The Shallows and the Philip Kerr and liked both of them.

  3. Jerry House says:

    I covered a number of the books I read and/or finished in my FFB this week, Rick: SF anthologies THE UNFRIENDLY FUTURE (Tom Boardman, Jr.), GATEWAY TO THE STARS (John Carnell), THE BEST SF STORIES FROM NEW WORLDS 4 (Michael Moorcock); SF fact and fiction anthology THE AUTHENTIC BOOK OF SPACE (H. J. Campbell); horror anthology THE NIGHTMARE READER, VOLUME ONE (Peter Haining); E. F. Bleiler’s collectionof J. sheridan Le Fanu’s BEST GHOST STORIES; and THE MYSTERY OF THE COUGHING DRAGON (a Three investigators book by “Nick West,” aka Kin Platt).

    I also read the latest Mike Hammer mystery by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. This one features an older Hammer — a bit mellower but still hard-edged in the George W. bush era. I involves a case of political blackmail with the target being a U.S. senator with ambitions on the presidency. Hammer solves the case in a well-written and non-violent way in the first half of the book; in the second half things begin to go dangerous wrong and the body count starts and begins to climb, although the body count remains below double digits. A good, smooth read, with Collins ably finishing one of the story fragments Spillane left behind. In fact, Collins does a better Spillane than Spillane did.

    I picked up the Library of America’s NOVELS AND STORIES by Shirley Jackson because it contained a few of her stories I had not read before — a talented and (despite her fame) a severely underrated author.

    Capping off the week were three graphic novels: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD (good), BATMAN, VOLUME 9 (meh), and BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #1 (a mixed bag).

    Currently reading George O. Smith’s PATTERN FOR CONQUEST, a galaxy-spanning novel of alien invasion, ESP, and super-science. After that, who knows? I’m still going through a lot of short stories, mainly SF.

    Things have been relatively quiet here. Clear blue skies one minute, then come-down-like-stink rain the next. Keeps the temperature comfy, though.

    Have a great week, Rick.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    After your previous recommendations, I have the first Goldman book on hold.

    I read Small Kingdoms and Other Stories by Charlaine Harris, a collection of four longish stories previously published in EQMM, about a high school principal who has a hidden past and is way more than what she sees. Recommended. Then read the newest Amish mystery about Police Chief Kate Burkholder by Linda Castillo, Shamed, which was as fast a read as usual. Rolling Stones was the latest O. Henry collection I’ve read, containing some of his earliest work. Then it was the latest by Ben H. Winters, the dystopian Golden State, which I raced through quickly. Let’s say, I can understand why some people have seen a connection to The Man in the High Castle. In the future, there is no California, only the Golden State, where lying is a serious crime, enforced by Speculators like Laszlo Ratesic.

    I started and put aside a couple of things that didn’t engage me. Now I’m reading the new non-series book by Aussie Garry Disher, Under the Cold Bright Lights. Alan Auhl is a retired Melbourne cop called back after five years to work at the Cold Case Squad. Good stuff.

    • I think you’ll like the Goldman, I hope so. Barbara has read the second and is now reading this one, but says she’ll go on to the first one next. The Disher sounds interesting, with your recommendation. I’ll see if the library has it. ………. Yes they do. So I’ve put a hold on it.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I won’t know for sure, but I wonder if he is setting up a new series with these characters. I’m nearly halfway through it. It does play into my longtime fascination with Australia.

  5. I’ve been busy organizing my latest SHERLOCK HOLMES WEEK on my blog. There are so many Sherlock Holmes pastiches that I could have done a SHERLOCK HOLMES MONTH! I also read the new Second Edition of Ramit Sethi’s I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH. My review will be posted to http:\\ next week.

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