The Night Watchman - Mark Mynheir My first book from the Vine program, I thought this sounded interesting and I like mysteries. So it was a natural choice.

NOTE: I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program

Once upon a time, Ray Quinn was a cop. Now he works at as a night watchman at a condo with Crevis, a young man who wants desperately to be a cop. His life is pretty lifeless until one of the tenants, a preacher named David, and a mysterious exotic dancer, Jamie, are found murdered in the preacher's condo. The police determine that it was a murder suicide--the preacher murdered his mistress and then killed himself from the guilt. The tenant's sister, Pam, feels differently. She asks Ray to clear her brother's name and find the real killer. Ray then uncovers a plot bigger than anyone had ever imagined.

I Liked:
This book sucks! It sucks you right into the story, makes you hate and adore Ray, makes you laugh your rear off at Ray's acerbic view of life, the universe and everything, and teases your mind with who did it. (Bet you thought that was going to be an insult!)
The plot is smart and enticing! Mynheir really put some thought and care into this and it shows. He follows in a logical procedure and (for the most part) doesn't deify Ray. Ray goofs. He overlooks, overplays his hand, guesses too quickly. And Ray, not being in the police force any longer, has to find creative ways to find answers to his questions. It was believable and enrapturing.
The characters are awesome! Told in first person from Ray's point of view, we get to see him the best. He is a completely fleshed out character, with flaws, issues, strengths, weaknesses. He has the wittiest humor (even at the expense of other characters) that will have you in stitches. I know it did me! Crevis, ray's compatriot, is another winner character. The spunky would-be cop is a perfect counterpart to Ray and, while never shown in as much detail as Ray, gets his own highlights. We see his motivation for becoming a cop, his dedication to Ray, and his innocence. A real gem. The last character that really stood out to me was Mike Vitaliano. I could easily imagine this dignified man, wanting power, money, and this woman that he thinks he loves/loves. Other characters, such as Pam, Mario, Chance, Oscar, and Ashley, are sideline, but they are much more fleshed out than I have seen many a primary character. Also noteworthy, characters change in the course of this book (particularly Ray), something that is welcome and beautiful to watch.
The surroundings are real! Mynheir does a superb job describing his surroundings, where his characters are, and where they are moving. I was immersed in his knowledge, right there with the characters as they drove, investigated and fought.
The pacing is incredible! I mean, literally, once you pick this up, you will not want to put it down. If you take a look at my reviews, you may note how widely spaced out the books are. One month. Two months. Two weeks. I finished this book in five days. That has got to be a world record for me for a 340+ page book! I was staying up late at night, reading on my lunch, after work, any time I could find to learn what happened and who killed David and Jamie!!

I Didn't Like:
I know that the copy I received was an advanced copy, but I would be remiss if I didn't at least bring up in passing that the latter half needed more editing. Spelling errors, "so" instead of "to", repetition, and a general hastiness and somewhat sloppiness prevail in the last half. Hopefully, this is remedied in the on-sale version.
Now on to real problems. The ending was a far too pat, and there were too many conclusions, almost like the ending of the Lord of the Rings. (Trying not to divulge too much...) Ray does this...and then this...and then the Homicide department does this for Ray...and then Crevis and Ray do this...and Pam ended like thisI was like, "Just end it already!" I felt the author had to tie up every. Single. Loose end. Even the ones circumspectly mentioned.
Lastly, while I understand that Pampas was a poor investigator, his ending smarted far too much of what happens when you face off with a Mary Sue (e.g. that in the end, Pampas is punished for being an idiot and Ray revered).

Dialogue/Violence/Sexual Situations:
Language is very tame. I can't think of any actually used in the book.
Four murders occur in the entire novel. None of them are told in particularly gruesome detail. Ray's prior injury is recounted, along with an unsolved 11 month old mystery. There are also some hand to hand scuffles.
The mystery revolves around the exotic dancer and the Club she worked with. Other than that, deftly avoided.

If you love mystery, you need to buy this book. Heck, I am considering buying the sale version, just so I can have all the edits! This is a winner of a mystery, sure not to disappoint. 5 stars.