Category Archives: John McMahon

Review: The Evil Men Do by John McMahon

Title: The Evil Men Do by John McMahon
P.T. Marsh Series Book Two
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son’s
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 367 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


The author of The Good Detective delivers a gripping and atmospheric new novel in which a cop takes on a harrowing new case and confronts old personal demons.

What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?

A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.

As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.


The Evil Men Do by John McMahon is a riveting small town mystery. This second installment in the P.T. Marsh series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend book one as well.

Detective P.T. Marsh and his partner Detective Remy Morgan find themselves embroiled in a murder investigation after discovering the body of Ennis Fultz. Since the victim lives in an isolated area, they turn to the security footage at a local gas station to zero in on their suspects.  The first person who falls under suspicion is Fultz’s ex-wife Connie who is not exactly forthcoming about her visits with her ex.  Their next possible suspect is  Suzy Kang who works in a local bondage club. But they quickly discover Ennis made several enemies during his long career in real estate. But now that Fultz is retired, P.T. and Remy are uncertain whether this line of inquiry is viable. After a few curious discoveries, the investigation takes an unexpected and personal turn.  With P. T.’s career in serious jeopardy after he makes a few ill-advised decisions, Remy is growing extremely frustrated with her partner. With much at risk, will P. T. and Remy  solve this perplexing case before it is too late?

On the surface, P. T.’s grief over the loss of his beloved wife Lena and son Jonah seems to be abating. He is in a relationship with Medical Examiner Sarah Raines.  His relationship with his father-in-law Marvin is in a good place although P.T. does not spend as much time with him as he would like. P.T. is also now sober but as this latest investigation heats up, his sobriety is tested more than once. As for his career,  P.T. is in the midst of working with the district attorney as they try to settle a civil suit brought him against him.  His stubbornness during negotiations could have unanticipated consequences when the plaintiff ups the ante.

The investigation into Fultz’s murder is yielding few results.  While P.T. and Remy do turn up some promising leads but they are also hitting dead ends.  P.T. is further distracted when Marvin is gravely injured and his life hangs in the balance. Curious about what his father-in-law was involved in, P.T. is absolutely stunned after he uncovers what Marvin was doing at the time of his injury. In growing trouble at work, P. T. is soon taking shocking risks that jeopardize the Fultz investigation, his future with the department and quite possibly his life.

The Evil Men Do is an incredibly engrossing mystery with a clever plot and appealing characters. P.T. is a troubled man who makes reckless choices that could result in devastating consequences.  Remy likes P.T. but she is fast growing irritated with his increasingly out of control behavior. The investigation into Fultz’s murder is intriguing and gradually culminates in a possible conspiracy with far-reaching implications. John McMahon brings this electrifying mystery to a thrilling, nail-biting dénouement. Old and new fans are sure to enjoy this action-packed addition the P.T. Marsh series.

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Filed under Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, John McMahon, Mystery, PT Marsh Series, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Evil Men Do

Review: The Good Detective by John McMahon

Title: The Good Detective by John McMahon
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


Introducing Detective P.T. Marsh in a swift and bruising debut where Elmore Leonard’s staccato prose meets Greg Iles’ Southern settings.

How can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia–until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder–a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.


The Good Detective by John McMahon is a clever mystery with a suspenseful plot and a likable protagonist.

Detective P.T. Marsh is still struggling with his grief over the tragic death of his wife and son one year earlier. He is drinking too much and he is no longer considered the rising star of the small town police force. His latest error in judgment lands him in a heap of trouble that just keeps snowballing.  His latest case involves the murder of Virgil Rowe, the man he threatened in the hours before his death. Even worse, his memory of what happened after punching Rowe in the face is a black void.

The situation worsens when P.T. and his partner Detective Remy Morgan unexpectedly discover the half-burned remains of teenager Kendrick Webster.  Remy and P.T. are careful to deep certain details to themselves that could inflame racial tensions and hamper their search for the killer(s). Late in the investigation, the case hits close to home for both Remy and Marsh. The investigation takes a stunning turn as the detectives search for another missing teenager before it is too late.

J.T. and Remy know they need to solve Kendrick’s murder quickly. But J.T. is distracted by his growing concern he will be arrested for Rowe’s murder.  No matter how hard he tries, he just cannot remember what happened that night. But he quickly becomes focused on trying to figure out what happened to Kendrick and he is dismayed to discover Rowe might be connected to the teenager’s death.  J.T. and Remy are also puzzled by some of the details at the crime scene. Their attention is soon focused on an ex-con with ties to white supremacy but is he their killer? According to Kendrick’s father, the man is innocent but the police force’s attempt to bring the man in for questioning culminates in tragedy.

Although everyone else believes Kendrick’s case is now closed, J.T. remains unconvinced. He continues searching for answers to the strange details discovered at the murder scene. J.T. eventually uncovers a very horrifying discovery that stretches back to Civil War era and includes a mystical ritual that has reaps shocking results.  Could what he has unearthed possibly be true? And if it is, is there any way J.T. can prevent it from happening in the future?

The Good Detective is an engrossing mystery with a unique storyline and engaging characters.  The investigation into Kendrick’s murder is interesting and moves at a steady pace. J.T. is a flawed yet appealing protagonist whose path to redemption is challenging. With some very unforeseen twists and startling turns, John McMahon brings this riveting mystery to a satisfying conclusion. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this debut mystery.

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Filed under Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, John McMahon, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Good Detective