The Hood With No Hands by C.S. Boag

The name is Rainbow. Detective Rainbow. His business card may read Bruno Scutt’s Detective Agency, but in the words of Rainbow himself, “Whatever it says, I’m still Rainbow.”

Rainbow is the sort of bloke who is in the business of solving crimes. Any caper that comes along with a string of dough attached to it is the type of case that Rainbow finds himself inclined to take. Living the life of a man off the grid, an occupational hazard, this private eye knows how to stay undetected. Since he himself is a master in the art of detection and has been in the game for no small amount of time, he has become quite adept at existing only when necessary, the rest of the time being spent in a myriad of dress, station, and persona.

We meet Rainbow right about the time in which a dame by the name of Sally Kane comes to the private eye in need of his services. She has become weary of her husband, a joker named David Jones. She laments that she has this intuition, or rather what she labels as “an informed judgment” that something underhanded is going on with her husband and she needs to find out what that something is. She wants a baby, and she wants to make sure that this man she has decided to make hers isn’t one of the nefarious sorts. Of course Rainbow requires payment up front, and once the beautiful Ms. Kane presents the dough, it is up to Rainbow to strike out and do what he does best, and that is to sniff out the odorless misdoings of what most people would assume is just another joker on the street.

As Rainbow begins his quest to figure out just what it is exactly that has set the stunner of a dame Ms. Kane on edge about her husband, his query is quickly brought to a halt. It seems to be that this Mr. Jones really is something of a curious man, because incidentally there is nothing on him, and nothing on him turns into him being nothing at all. Rainbow has come across a man with no background. Nothing to trace, nothing to go one. The only proof of his existence is the Relator’s business he appears to run, and the fact that he is married to Ms. Kane. It seems that Rainbow has stepped into quite an interesting and tedious task, one in which he will need to rely on all of his instincts and resources to suss out.

This caper takes Rainbow on many a twist and turn that are each quite surprising and yet somehow unfulfilling. He seems to find himself grasping at a hundred different straws, trying to make them into a suitable bale, but the twine with which he needs to tie them all together is always just beyond his grasp, until suddenly in the eleventh hour, everything changes, and we watch to see just how suited this Mr. Rainbow is at his chosen career path.

Author C.S. Boag has done a magnificent job bringing back the lost art of the Noir Who Done It genre. It is a genre that has been lacking in content for so long, that I feel that we have forgotten its charm, but Boag lights up every single page of his book with just that sentiment. He also infuses sarcasm and witticisms in every line of thought in which Rainbow thinks. He has not only created this character that get to watch, but we get to know this his motives, his thoughts, and his pre-determined and not so pre-determined actions that he is willing to take in order to solve the seemingly unsolvable case. Boag has made Rainbow not only someone that we love to watch, but someone we feel that we know. His thought pattern is completely honest, and the hilarity of that honesty is so refreshing. The way that Boag has shaped the speech and colloquialisms in which Rainbow exists by is truly a joy to read.

I was thrilled by the idea that while I was reading the book, I had no idea what was about to happen next. As is all too unfortunately common in the genre of mystery, most everything is predictable. However, Boag surprised me by constantly surprising his characters, and it wasn’t until the last twenty pages of the book that I, alongside with Rainbow, were able to put a cap on this caper at long last, and with much satisfaction and relief.

This is but the first of the adventures of Mr. Rainbow, and I for one cannot wait to pick up the next installment and see what the fella is up to. The book ends in a mostly complete way, but there is still a small cliffhanger that will leave you desperate to grab the next volume in search of an answer. Boag tactfully wrapped up every detail, of which there are many, but he still had the wisdom to leave us wanting more. I heartily give this book 5 out of 5 morals, and am so pleased that I was able to play a small part in introducing Mr. Rainbow to those who may have overlooked him.

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