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Heroes Ever Die (Ken Allen Super Sleuth, #2) by J.A. Crawford 

A second fun and entertaining installment in the Ken Allen Super Sleuth series! 

This second in series sparkles! 

Ken Allen has upgraded a bit since his last case, now living in a nicer part of the city and officially hanging out his shingle as a private investigator. After two successful cases, one kept on the ultra-down-low because of the high-profile client, he’s ready to help when his old friend, Ray Ford, is suspected of negligence resulting in the death of two actors on the sets of two different superhero flicks. Ray is being framed, and Elaine, the daughter he’s been keeping under wraps for years, suspects who the real culprit is. 

In the meantime, Ken’s own son, Dean, the recently revealed surprise result of a short-term liaison almost 20 years earlier, wants to get to know his dad, and he couldn’t have picked a worse time. With Ken becoming a target of the killer himself and needing to investigate and stop the murder spree, he’s had to put Dean off during this very delicate time in their relationship. 

As a fan of the debut Ken Allen Super Sleuth mystery, Jove Brand is Near Death (click here for my review), I was looking forward with much anticipation to Heroes Ever Die, and I was not disappointed. Ken Allen is a one-of-a-kind private investigator who, although talking about getting old, is still current, relevant, and completely on top of what’s hot and trending. The story is a seamless amalgam of pop culture as we follow him through his days that include an adherence to a keto diet, selfies, smoothies, and the main character literally fangirling over comic book royalty. The author also mixes in movie and television references that are fun surprises. Parallels and parodies of the James Bond franchise and the comic book cinematic universes are the baselines for the series and this book, in particular, and are vastly entertaining. The dialogue absolutely shone in the debut novel and is a high point in the second as well. It’s smart and witty and kept me laughing. 

I liked that Ken has officially hung out his shingle (as a private investigator), although this case is still on behalf of a friend. I also liked that Ken’s son, Dean, is still in the picture, and he and his father are working on getting to know each other. Ken is such a likable guy. I enjoyed how he was able to charm the ladies who lunch to report back to him on what was going on in their neighborhood. 

Ray Ford, a recurring character from the first book, continues to amaze with his special gadgets, and we discover he has a grown daughter. Elaine is an intelligent and charming addition to the “team.” She lives and works with her father, and her backstory, when revealed, pulled at my heartstrings for both of them. Investigator Stern is a mellower version of herself this go-round, and I like there’s more of a partnership developing between her and Ken. 

With all the masks and costumes involved, no one in this story is really who they seem to be. However, we soon realize that this is even more the case with characters who aren’t even in disguise. The story is full of surprises, and I didn’t see the resolution coming. I enjoyed this book so much that I read it in one day. 

I recommend HEROES EVER DIE to readers that enjoy up-to-the-minute mysteries, especially those involving the film industry, comic book franchises, and private investigators with martial arts skills. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

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