Douglas Wynne’s The Wind in My Heart has a fun premise and is a quick read! This story kept me engaged with its touch of mystery and quirky characters.
Miles Landry is the private detective at Insight Detective Agency. Known around the local bar scene as “Dirty Laundry,” he tends to handle extramarital affairs. Immediately after a scorned woman shows up at his office to teach him a lesson, he receives a call for an unusual job. A Buddhist monk named Jigme Rinpoche wants to hire him to find a former student’s reincarnated soul. A series of murders against gang members have popped up in Chinatown, and he believes this former student is responsible. Even though Landry thinks this monk is wasting his time, he’s curious nonetheless and heads to the temple for the meeting.
The Wind in My Heart, despite the unorthodox plot, is a no-nonsense, hard-boiled detective novel. And Miles Landry fits all the traditional characteristics of a character working a case in a crime noir story. Still, Wynne has a propensity for writing snappy dialogue and keeping the reader invested. Per hard-boiled mystery standards, Landry has baggage and a checkered past. He’s a heavy drinker, owns a failing business, is low on funds, and requires anger management classes to keep his temper in check… but he’s quick on his feet. And of course, you guessed it: Landry takes the job because it’s just too good to pass up. The killer, known as the Chinatown Monster, is wreaking havoc in New York City, and as Landry digs deeper, beneath the layers of evidence and Tibetan history, he realizes things are not black and white. If he wants to solve the case, he may need to open his mind to alternative possibilities.
Wynne’s writing style gels perfectly with this crime sub-genre. I especially enjoyed reading from Landry’s perspective and learning his backstory as his character is the driving force in this story. The supernatural element was always going to be a noticeable presence but never felt over the top. Ultimately, I was impressed by the attention to detail written about Tibetan culture and the Chinatown Monster case’s investigative process.
After I finished reading, I decided to go down the rabbit hole of what Douglas Wynne has written before. Oh my goodness, he’s written several books! There’s a series called Spectra which is a mix of science fiction and horror that looks amazing. Also, I noticed a few thrillers and mysteries, His Own Devices, Smoke & Dagger, Steel Breeze, and The Echo of Devil Lake, so I will definitely check out his backlist titles.
The Wind in My Heart is a solid crime novel full of mysterious elements and detective angst. I breezed right through it, and even though parts are predictable, it took my mind off the rest of the world — precisely what I was looking for in this book.