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Never Look Down (Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries Book 3) by [Warren C Easley]

Never Look Down (Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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A do-gooder lawyer wants to track down the sole witness to the murder of a friend's fiancee before the friend takes matters into his own hands. Now that he's developed the reputation as a lawyer who's willing to help the common man--even if that man is still a boy--Cal Claxton feels responsible for his unofficial office hours at Portland's Caffeine Central. In his latest murder case, though, he can't just sit and wait for a presumed eyewitness to come to him because the murdered woman, Claudia, was recently betrothed to his closest friend, Hernando Mendoza. Cal wants to help more than anything, not only because he's worried what Nando might do to Claudia's ex-husband before the real killer is found, but also because he's pretty certain the witness is firmly within his wheelhouse of troubled youth. The person who saw the crime seems to be a local graffiti artist going by the moniker "K209" whose distinctive tags appear to defy gravity. Kelly Spence, meanwhile, is worried that her identity as K209 will be found out, and she knows the killers saw her hanging above them the night of the crime. The placement of her tags is a tribute to her father, who taught her climbing skills before he died in an accident several years ago. Kelly can't go to the police with what she knows because she doesn't want to get in trouble for her city artwork. Will she connect with Cal, the one person who might be on her side, or will she be too afraid to tell anyone the truth as she hides from danger? Alternating between Cal's first-person narrative and the third-person story of Kelly, Easley (Dead Float, 2014, etc.) keeps the story simple and easy to unravel while engaging readers in more long-term relationships with the characters.--Kirkus

Cal Claxton used to work as a prosecutor down in stressful Los Angeles. Now he is a widower living in rural Oregon, where he divides his time between small-town lawyering, providing pro bono legal advice to the down-and-outs of Portland, and enjoying the landscape of the great Northwest. It's a pretty good way to spend one's days -- especially when you can share it with a devoted Australian shepherd named Archie. Portland has city code ordinances against graffiti vandalism. This doesn't stop some young people and amateur artists from arming themselves with cans of spray paint and filling what they see as blank canvases all around them. One teenager named Kelly has taken the art to a whole new level -- literally -- as she combines her love of mountain climbing with her slightly illegal love of tagging. Cal doesn't know it yet, but the artwork he suddenly spots halfway up the side of his downtown office building (Caffeine Central) was created by Kelly. The trouble is, when you're out and about during the darkest hours of the city, you may see things you'd be better off not seeing. Kelly is perched high above a street one night when she witnesses a deadly shooting that takes place below her. She scrambles out of the killer's sight, she thinks, and is injured in the process. Now she has to make sure that no one discovers that she is "K209." Her life may depend on this. And she can hardly go to the police to share what she saw, even after two more men (and one, a friend) are killed. In spite of the danger, though, she's curious enough to start figuring out on her own the identity of the killer she thinks of as "Macho Dude." What is really happening in Portland? Cal also has connections to this murder. The victim was Claudia Borrego, the fiance of Cal's office landlord and friend, Hernando Mendoza. Nando asks Cal for support and for help in learning about the reasons and the responsible parties behind Claudia's death. Cal is eager to lend an investigative hand, while he tries at the same time not to interfere with the efforts of the local police force. By now he already has history with some of its members. He too begins to track down the primary players in this tragic tri-fold drama....The chapters alternate between the first-person narrative of main character Cal and the third-person story of young artist Kelly. As you may expect, the separate paths of the lawyer-investigator and the teenage painter begin to narrow as both of them start following similar leads. This is a great tension-building technique chosen by the author. And by the halfway point of the book, we don't want to leave either character. We keep reading and turning pages, hoping against hope that the two will soon come together and team up against the evil parties. We also want Cal to be able to help Kelly out of whatever trouble she may find herself in (or vice versa), because this incident is obviously bigger than just the untimely death of one woman and two men....The trail unfortunately seems to stop at a city gun shop. And too many guns are involved. Still, we expect justice to be served to the killer(s) in the end....Never Look Down is the third episode in this compelling and worthwhile mystery series. If you already read the first book, Matters of Doubt, you may be pleased to know that its character Picasso, a young mural painter, makes a few appearances in this one. You can also read a review of the second episode, Dead Float, here. Be apprised that this current book doesn't contain as many fly-fishing scenes as the second one did, being more urban than rural. Since the city is where the murders take place, it's also where the investigations have to be done....I'm pleased to have the chance to gleefully recommend reading this installment and the entire Cal Claxton series. Once you reach the midway point of any one of these books, you won't want to stop. And I can't wait to see what will happen next in this man's corner of the world.--Rambles

Easley's well-paced third Cal Claxton mystery (after 2014's Dead Float) finds the Oregon lawyer doing pro bono work for Portland's disadvantaged at his office in what he calls the Caffeine Central building in the city's Old Town. Cal also looks out for the building's landlord, Hernando Mendoza. When Hernando's fiancée is shot dead in Old Town late one night, high school student Kelly Spence, the tagger (graffiti artist) known as K209, witnesses the murder while spray painting an image on a nearby building and escapes only after the killer takes several shots at her shadowy figure. The killer, who leaves a bloody trail in his wake, and Cal race to find her, but Kelly avoids them both, not knowing whom she can trust. When Cal and Kelly do connect, they make a formidable and unlikely team as they try to find justice for the killer's victims. Cal's name is on the title page, but plucky and resourceful Kelly steals this tense adventure.--Publisher's Weekly

Easley's Oregon lawyer Cal Claxton (Matters of Doubt, 2013) divides his time between Portland and a small Willamette Valley wine-country town, mixing private practice with pro bono work. He's in Portland this time, working to protect a teenager with a talent for climbing tall buildings and tagging them. Kelly Spence, the young tagger, is a student at an alternative high school who lives with her dead father's addict girlfriend. One night, while at work atop a building, she looks down and witnesses the murder of a woman. Unfortunately, the killer also sees her, so Kelly's life is in danger. Wanting to do the right thing while remaining anonymous, Kelly asks one of her street friends for help, but the friend also ends up dead. Cal, investigating the murder at the behest of his landlord, teams with Kelly to find the killer. Claxton makes an amiable, low-key lawyer hero, reminiscent of William G. Tapply's Brady Coyne, and Easley vividly evokes Portland's street culture.--Booklist

Former prosecutor Cal Claxton left Los Angeles for the wine country of Oregon. He defends people living on the streets in Portland such as 16-year-old graffiti artist Kelly Strand, who witnessed a murder while tagging a downtown building. The dead woman was the fiancée of Cal's best friend Hernando Mendez. Nando needs Cal's help to figure out who would want to kill Claudia Borrego. Meanwhile, Kelly is on the run and Cal is the only person who can help her. Shenanigans by the feds complicate Cal's case. VERDICT Lawyer Cal is an appealing knight in rusty armor, seeking justice for the most vulnerable. His latest case (after Dead Float) is complicated but holds the reader's interest. Easley exquisitely captures Portland's flavor, and his portrayal of street life is spot-on. Readers of John Hart and Kate Wilhelm will delight in trying a new author.--Library Journal

Former Los Angeles prosecutor Cal Claxton enjoys his pro bono work offering legal aid out of his Old Town office to Portland, Oregon's poorest. Someone shoots and murders Claudia Borrego, the fiancee of Cal's landlord, Hernando "Nando" Mendoza in the early predawn hours. High school student and spray paint tagger Kelly "K209" Spence witnesses the homicide from her perch four stories above the crime scene. Noticing Kelly high above, the killer fires at her, but she escapes....Realizing a graffiti artist probably saw the homicide; the cops, feeling for his grieving friend Nando Cal, and a bloody predator search for K209. Trusting no one especially after the person she turned to is mutilated; staying above the fray Kelly eludes the police, the lawyer and the psychopath until desperate she turns to the least likely to betray her: Cal....The third Cal Claxton Oregon mystery (see Dead Float) returns the hero to Portland's street artist world (see Matters of Doubt) in which another young tagger (to the delight of the audience) affirms WC Fields' mantra: "Never work with animals or children" as they own the story. Fast-paced with twin senses of pending doom and deadly confrontation, readers will adore spunky Kelly as she deploys her mountain-climbing skills in an urban jungle to stay alive.--Midwest Book Review

From four stories up the side of a building, a young graffiti artist "a runaway teenager" witnesses a murder, and then finds herself in the killer's sights. Oregon attorney Cal Claxton teams up with the young artist to identify the killer and uncover a smuggling racket, along the way working with Portland's homeless and helping members of the Cuban-American community whose lives were affected by the murder. The Portland city-scape is as much a character as are the colorful graffiti artist and the lawyer who walks Portland's streets with his dog, Archie.--EQMM --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Formerly a research scientist and international business executive, Warren C. Easley lives in Oregon where he writes fiction, tutors GED students, fly fishes and skis. Easley is the author of the Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries. He received a Kay Snow National Award for fiction in 2012 and was named the Northwest's Up and Coming Author in 2017, both honors bestowed by Willamette Writers.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07VPKQVJW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Poisoned Pen Press (1 September 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 389 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 313 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1464204667
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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Pamela Caudle
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Claxton hjt
Reviewed in the United States on 31 December 2015
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Craig Caramella
5.0 out of 5 stars These books by Warren Easley are marvelous and a great read. They grab your attention and hold you in the edge of your seat. I
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5.0 out of 5 stars Portland based mystery
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this well-written, suspenseful mystery.
Reviewed in the United States on 6 November 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense
Reviewed in the United States on 29 September 2015
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