I spent most of this past weekend reading The Yellow Packard by Ace Collins. The story follows, not the life of a person, but of a car-the yellow 1936 Packard. It starts with a death on the assembly line, and continues down a path of seemingly good luck and bad luck for many people. The lives of Abigale Watling, George and Carole Hall, William Landers, Nate and Beverly Coffman and Helen Meeker are changed forever because of this vehicle. This is a novel full of mystery, suspense, kidnapping, robbery and murder-all components of a great story. The story covers a lot of distance and time, but every part is tied back to the Packard.
This was the first of Collins' books I have read, and I had many emotions about it. The story itself is great. The idea of a car that influences the lives of so many people is something I've never read before, so that alone made an interesting read. I don't think the solution was very surprising, but Mr. Collins had a way of reaching it, around a lot of twists and turns, that makes it enjoyable. Several times he brings the reader right to the edge of a solution, only to withdraw and switch scenes to something that seems totally unrelated. He really leaves you guessing, so to speak. There was a lot of suspense and action, that seemed like it came right of a black-and-white movie. As a matter of fact, I felt like the book was a cross between CSI and This is Your FBI, not always in a successful way. The dialogue was juvenile, and sometimes a little cheesy. It almost seems like the author is trying too hard, but it did not ruin the story for me. The book kept me on the edge of my seat, hoping that Meeker and Reese would figure out the clues and solve the mysteries. (Yes, I said mysteries! The book is full of them!)
I was a little disappointed in a few areas of this book, but overall it was a great read. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful page-turner. The book is pretty long, so it's perfect for these long winter evenings when it gets dark earlier.