Cover Image: A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun

A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun

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Member Reviews

Originally posted on my blog Nonstop Reader.

A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun is the second Dave Beckett procedural by David Putnam. Released 17th Oct 2023 by indie publisher Level Best Books, it's 302 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links.

This is a very gritty and direct procedural featuring an abrasive "old-school" style cop. He's got insubordination problems, rules infractions, and has been on his last chance to turn things around for several years. He gets results and that's apparently why he's still hanging on to his job.

There are a couple of intertwined stories here and both are engaging, well written, and resolved satisfyingly. The prose is quite raw in places and there's a fair amount of violence. Definitely more along the lines of Deaver, Iles, and Kellerman, and fans of those authors will likely find this one appealing.
It's the second book in the series but works well enough as a standalone. It's not from a larger traditional publisher, and as such, might not be on library acquisition lists. It's a high quality mystery procedural and would be a good addition for public library or home reading.

Four stars. Warnings for police brutality, very realistic violence, and language. The author was a former deputy sheriff in California, and the book reflects his past experiences and there's a definite aura of jaded, world weary cynicism.

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I was very happy for a chance to read Blood Red Sun by David Putnam. It is not a book I normally would have chose for myself but I enjoyed the use of real life in this novel.

  Thank you to Netgalley and IBPA for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. A non-stop thriller if there ever was one, that will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

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Unfortunately this book didn’t keep my interest I don’t know if it was the character or just the book in general. But I will read this book again and see if reading it another time will change my opinion on the book.

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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

A lonesome blood red sun was an interesting read. Blended together with true life incidents it gives us account of a life of a homicide detective. Dave Beckett is smart, he sees clues where everyone else misses it. He loves his job but his job has asked too much of him.

He finds a human leg bone which leads to a murder mystery and he knows the victim quite well. The murderer is in plain sight but will he be able to figure it out?

Overall it was good read but the story was confusing at times. There was a two years jump and I did suspect that author was not particularly right in following that timeline. It was interesting that it was inspired from true invents but the character development wasn't good enough and Dave was a misogynist.

There was this incident in the start of the book where Beckett tries to save his friend which was totally wrong ethically and later he does arrest someone for the same crime. So he was a hypocrite too. Overall an okay read.

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A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun by David Putnam
Bone Detective #2

Excellent, immersive, compelling story ~ Couldn’t put it down

What I liked:
* David Beckett: Detective, divorced, father, works cold cases in the desert, impulsive, sees, details others miss, sometimes works close to the legal limits, a bit of a loner, intriguing
* The plot, pacing, setting, and writing
* Knowing where many of the locations were having grown up in Southern California and going to nursing school in San Bernardino County
* The look into police departments and trying to figure out why some who should not rise in administration seem to do so
* The cases that were solved and the information about how they correlated with true crime
* That the story made me care and hope it would all work out
* That though David is not easy to like and sometimes in the gray-zone…I still liked him and wanted him to find his way to a brighter future while making a few friends
* Wondering where David’s father might be and also wondering if Jennifer might show up in the next book, too
* Finding a new-to-me author that I will read again
* That the story was able to stand alone without having read the first book in the series
* Knowing there will be another book in the series

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Thinking about evil, corruption, double standards, and why people make the choices they do
* Thinking about how what is seen and experienced has an emotional and physical impact

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series/by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Level Best Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars

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I usually like police procedural stories but this story did not capture my attention. The characters were flat and the writing style did not flow. While I struggled to finish this book, I’m glad that I did because there was an twist at the end I hadn’t expected.

ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a good story which kept me turning the pages throughout the night. Great mystery, writing and plotting will recommend to all my friends who love this genre.

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Dave was a really interesting character. He was a deputy but you have a lot of problems. He thought it was an old-fashioned cop. And he would go through all these different things. Here's out in the desert and one of they are cops called CO. D be easy and was at another station and he did not like him at all.. This was like a love story morgan mystery all rolled into one. He fell for this woman named jennifer and he was trying to help her with different cases, but he was also divorced. His father ran a little hole in the wall diner. He had interesting passes well he got out of jail. There's a story behind this as well. And you'll find this out at the end of the book. Everybody had a story behind their past in this book. Especially like when they started to talk about different murders in the book. This was both written because you never knew what was gonna pop up and how everything was tied together and some organized fashion. This Dave guy was such a character. I really felt in love with him. He was just an ordinary guy but everybody liked to Mess with him. You never got to be detective because you kept making mistakes. And his mouth always got him to trouble.

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A very gripping and interesting book. It had it all; murder, humour, darkness, great characters and kept me turning the pages.

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"A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun" is the second book of the Dave Beckett series by David Putnam. The story is a series of many real-life incidents, based on author Putnam's experiences working in the police force, interspersed within a fictional story, .

At the onset of the story, we are introduced to Dave Beckeett, a rule-bending maverick working in the San Bernardino County, whose primary goal is to do the right thing for mostly everyone. He rarely listens to his superiors, has his own way of going about an investigation, a trait which lands him in hot waters more often than not and has currently been demoted from a homicide detective to an officer of patrol.

The story is in two parts - one which happens in 1984 and the other in 1988. In 1984, Dave forms a connection with one of the female officer Jimmie Poe, while he helps her with some high profile cases, thereby expediting her promotion to a detective. His run-in with a Lieutenant of another station and his unorthodox investigative techniques has him contend with the Internal Affairs blokes frequently.

Getting forward to 1988, we discover that he has been reinstated into the homicide department but as a person who investigates the bones that turn up frequently in the desert. We also learn that Jimmie has been missing for 4 years. But when a set of bones are discovered and confirmed to be Jimmie's, Dave launches into a behind-the-scene investigation behind the veil of another investigation he had ben carrying out and along with Dave, we find who killed Jimmie and why.

First of all, this book is more a slice of a policeman's life rather than a whodunit. The experience of reading this book feels like the reader has immersed themselves into the California and the police department of the 80s. We get to see how the department worked and the people lived in a time when internet and mobile phones had not invaded iur society. And I must say that was a novel experience.

But the story just didn't take off till almost half of the book. Till the actual story of the bones comes by, the readers are left to wonder where exactly is the story moving towards. However, the story becomes more engaging after the discovery of the bones and the whole investigation into the culprit was even quite interesting. There are quite a few convincing red herrings and the identity of the killer was almost surprising. The other cases handled by Dave, and the circumstances pertaining to those cases, make for an interesting and sometimes entertaining read.

Dave's character has enough layers and complexities that there is a possibility for more stories based on him. Though this book wasn't quite there for me, I am nevertheless looking forward to the next book in the book, just because I think this story has more potential and also because I would like to see what happens with Dave and give this author another chance.

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I really enjoy this new series by the author. This installment got me hooked. Dave Beckett, is surprisingly likable and I'm rooting for him.

Thank you to the author David Putnam and NetGalley for this read.

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I found this book to be very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this a friend because this is a book for everyone. I really enjoyed emerging myself into this book and it was just wonderful. This book evened my eyes to quite a few things and it’s one of those books that I’ll think about for quite awhile.

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A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun was a difficult read for me. I did not find the main character to be someone who I could either respect or feel any connection to. As a police officer he bends the rules without any respect to how it might affect others or cases. The first half of the book felt almost unimportant to the final plot.
I did manage to finish the book but it was a difficult and slow read for me.

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Dave Beckett is a detective working homicide. He tends to be reckless and holds onto his job by a thread, but is passionate about what he does. Dave meets a rookie officer at a scene and helps her with a couple of cases. Then all of a sudden, she disappears and is found murdered two years later. Dave walks a fine line to try solving the case while trying to stay out of trouble.

I had no idea this was the second book in a series but was able to read it completely on its own without feeling confused because I didn’t read the first one. The storylines keep you on your toes and so detailed, it’s like being able to see first-hand. Although, I didn’t realize until the end that the author was a detective and many of the storylines were based off true events.

If you’re like me, and fascinated with investigations, this is one to read!

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This is the second novel I have read featuring Beckett. He is a tough law enforcement officer and is not afraid to break the rules to get the villain or protect his fellow officers. Putnam again shows his experience in law enforcement, giving the novel an authentic feel.

I did find this plot to be more disjointed than I would have liked. Beckett's investigative procedure seems more about him than actually solving the case. I was surprised at the number of times he stretched or broke rules along the way. I liked the first novel in this series but this one less so.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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The first half of this book seems to concentrate on Dave Beckett's escapades as a sheriff's deputy in San Bernardino County, Ca in 1984 with occasional flashbacks to a case which haunts him. We see glimpses of his relationship with his father but no mention of his mother who played a more prominent role in the first book. Too bad because I quite liked her. The second half seems to take place after the events in Book #1 when Dave becomes known by his colleagues as the Bone Dick.

This book, although an interesting read, seems more like just a recital of all the cases Dave has solved and I was waiting and waiting for a hint as to what the story is actually about. I never did figure that out. People keep disappearing from his life - his father, his deputy buddy, the female acting detective he's developed feelings for - and all except the acting detective remain disappeared at the end. To me Dave's actually not very likeable in this book and seems to have a real anger management problem as well as a resistance to authority. There's a lot of action and I was entertained by the book although not as much as the first one. I'll be keeping an eye out for the next book in this series. 3.5 Stars rounded down.

Thank you to Level Best Books via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this novel. All opinions expressed are my own.
Publication: October 17, 2023

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Rollercoaster pan none!. Dave Beckett is the willow not the oak when it comes to procedures and has the reputation on both sides of opinion. Good plot and good momentum.

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Book Review: A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun (The Bone Detective, Dave Beckett #2) by David Putnam
Published by Level Best Books, October 17, 2023

★★★★☆ (4.0 Stars!)

This is the fifth book I've read by the author, following three books in his incredibly compelling protagonist fighting the good fight, "Bruno Johnson" with the ARC on its eleventh iteration on my TBR, "The Diabolical", out on February 6, 2024.

// A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun (The Bone Detective, Dave Beckett #2) by David Putnam //

When I first read Book 1 of David Putnam's "Dave Beckett" series, I thought only one word came to mind.


I could also see a strong moral compass in a book quite reminiscent of those classic Joseph Wambaugh novels. Fearless, out in the streets of L.A. "The New Centurions." (1970). "The Blue Knight". (1972) "The Choir Boys". (1975).

// San Bernardino County, Southern California, 1979.
.....David Putnam's version is part memoir, part fiction, hardly embellished, Mama's boy, warts and all, with the entire narrative based on stories and cases compiled over a life-long career dedicated to law enforcement. I get a glimpse inside the persona - the author's blood, sweat and tears of what it was like for a beat cop to work the streets. And then some.

"Dave Beckett" he gets his cherry popped with his first call on the swing shift, a call which leaves him rattled and shaken. Then his first "code 3 run, lights and siren" to an "unknown injury traffic accident" which turns out to be a "1144, fatal accident".

Beckett's first armed apprehension. His first officer-involved shooting.... //

But, alas, this was not to be as ground-breaking as I thought.

Just too much tedious heavy baggage on the memoir part. And not entirely that creative and compelling on the fiction part.

Still, I'd read and review, Dave Beckett Book Three, if and when it emanates.


Best-selling Author David Putnam parleys his years of law enforcement into the palpable realism of his writing. Inter-alia, he was with the real Hawaii Five-O, a narc, on an FBI-sponsored team, with a SWAT team and has supervised corrections, patrol, and a detective bureau.

Review based on an advance reading copy courtesy of Level Best Books and NetGalley.

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A Lonesome Blood-Red Sun by David Putnam, the second book in the trilogy featuring Dave Beckett, offers a gritty and realistic take on homicide investigations in the unforgiving backdrop of Southern California's Mojave desert. I hadn't realised that this was the second book in a series though, until I had already received this ARC, but that didn't take away my enjoyment from the book.

This story opens in 1984 with a young and impulsive Beckett, a rookie sheriff's deputy driven by his relentless pursuit of justice. His determination to ascend to the homicide division is challenged by his audacious disregard for the rules and his propensity to speak his mind. Alongside his partner, struggling with their own traumas, Beckett faces harassment from a senior officer. The narrative then leaps four years ahead, with Beckett now working alone and still haunted by his past. When a leg bone discovered in the desert turns out to be someone he was close to, Beckett becomes consumed by the need to find their killer.

While I found the pacing a bit uneven and at times felt like a series of anecdotes piecing together late in the story, Beckett's irreverent attitude and constant defiance of authority were somewhat off-putting. His selective enforcement of the law, such as arresting someone he doesn't like for a crime while aiding a friend in a similar situation, made it difficult to fully empathize with him.

Nonetheless, what truly shines in this novel is Putnam's masterful use of language. His writing is sharp and evocative, far superior to many crime writers. The storyline is terrifying at times and is full of suspense that has you at the edge of your seat. A lot of the incidents described in the book are inspired by true events, most of which the author has experienced himself when he was on the force and that's why he captures the essence of the weariness and cynicism that comes with a career in law enforcement.

The resolution of the various mysteries within the story is well-executed, and Putnam skillfully leaves some storylines open for exploration in the final installment of the trilogy.

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