Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Devil's Kitchen by Clark Lohr

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Publisher: BARZF Press; 2 edition (Feb 21 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJC174Q

Product Description


Devil's Kitchen…Southwest noir – crime and romance in the Sonoran Desert… where the sacred feminine traditions conflict with the masculine logic of profit and environmental exploitation. When a severed head shows up at a Tucson landfill, Pima County Sheriff’s Detective Manny Aguilar gets the case. He handily tracks down the dead man’s heroin-addicted friends, and Manny thinks he’s identified the killers—until someone starts killing them. Suddenly Manny finds himself in the middle of a hellish conspiracy between a Mexican drug lord and an Arizona land developer. Aguilar’s redheaded, butt-kicking girlfriend, Reina, along with his Yaqui grandmother help solve the mystery, but it’s Johnny Oaks, a Cherokee PI, who rides with Manny to the showdown in Arizona's remote Skeleton Canyon.

About The Author

Clark Lohr was born in Montana. He has a farm and ranch background and is a Vietnam Vet. Lohr, a professional photographer, has a degree from the University of Arizona. 

My Review

The debut novel, Devil's Kitchen, by Clark Lohr is an incredibly well-written and captivating crime novel.  The novel opens with the discovery of a severed head and with Pima County Sheriffs Department's Detective Manuel (Manny) Aguilar being assigned to the case. A rash of shootings and dead bodies soon result in Manny's being fired and beginning a new career as a private detective.  Tucson's proximity to the Mexican border allows for Mexican drug lords to have quite a bit of influence over the area thus crime abounds.  Lohr also touches on the affects of rampant out of control real estate development in Arizona which is destroying the fragile ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. Mix these two ingredients and you have a recipe for death and devastation.

What I love about this novel is that I really feel like I'm part of the action.  I am really perceiving a sense of place in that without ever having been to Tuscon, I know what it feels like to be there.  And I love that Manny loves cats!  Manny has a realistic relationship with his girlfriend, friends and his family.  He seems to really understand his girlfriend and is thoughtful about his reactions around her....she has some interesting thoughts on hallucinations, etc.  And he has a very interesting relationship with his grandmother.

The final showdown is at Devil's Kitchen in Skeleton Canyon on the Arizona / New Mexico border near the Mexican border.  The author did not leave any loose ends hanging and the conclusion was satisfying.

Highly, highly recommend this fabulous crime, mystery novel!  I'm looking forward to the next book Clark!


  1. Hard to believe I found Clark's book buried in a slush pile! This book has so many elements near to my heart and I am always looking for strong, positive Hispanic characters in books. As acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press, Clark has been one of my best finds. A diamond not at all in the rough!

  2. Bravo, Clark! Sounds like a ripping good read. It's on my TBR list.

  3. Sounds riveting. Congratulations, Clark. On my list, too.

  4. Kuddos again Clark! Knew it was a well written book and sure to do well !

    Jeana Thompson
    Oak Tree Press
    Public Relations

  5. Anytime an author delves into his characters, I think the story is just a little better. It's not your standard police police procedural (although thse are good, too). Cats and hallucinations? Wow!

  6. Wow. Compelling characters + Southwest setting + noir trappings = another book to add to my pile. This sounds right up my alley!

  7. whoa this sounds like one of those Mickey Spillane's characters, looks like one I will have to pick up.