Newly retired from the FBI and alone after the tragic death of his wife, Cliff Knowles takes up geocaching. While looking for a cache in the mountains, he comes across a human skeleton and reports it to the sheriff's office. Then a second body is found - a fresh corpse this time - right after Cliff found another geocache nearby. When it turns out the first remains are those of a fugitive he was supposed to arrest years earlier, he becomes a suspect in a multiple homicide investigation. He has no choice but to use his sleuthing skills to identify the mysterious cache owner, known only as Enigmal, and free himself from suspicion.
Cached Out is the second book in the popular Cliff Knowles Mysteries series. The author is a retired FBI agent. Many of his books are inspired by actual FBI cases.
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Giving It a Favorite Point
- Dave Self
"Solving mysteries, investigating crimes ..."
Geocaching was something entirely new to me. The reader can enter into the location searches vicariously by trying to decipher the cryptic clues given in full and so match their solutions against the skills of the protagonists.
Retired after 25 successful years with the FBI, Clifford Knowles is in the desert, pursuing a hidden geocach site when he finds a skull, quickly followed by an old skeleton. With no phone signal, he bikes back to the nearest Rangers office to report it to a somewhat hostile officer. Turns out, the ten years old skeleton was that of a known drugs dealer who had disappeared around the time of an FBI raid in which Knowles himself had taken part. He immediately comes under suspicion, even more so when other bodies, also at geocach sites turn up. But these are much more recent. With no other obvious suspects, Knowles needs all of his investigative powers, and the help of a few friends, to prove his innocence.
This is a fairly long book, filled with dramatic twists and turns, adventures including the battle for life against a most unusual aggressor, and the dangers of being in hidden locations without the ability to summon assistance by phone. The characterisations of the numerous protagonists are good, and the detail of the geocaching tracking is both fascinating and full of danger. Long, yes, but never once boring, especially for puzzle solvers.
Throughout it all, Joe Hempel does an outstanding job, really becoming the main protagonist, Knowles, as well as expertly voicing everyone else in a clear and identifiable manner. His easy to listen to narration adds to the tensions as Cliff tries to find an alternative suspect and so prove, if not his innocence, at least another person of interest. He carries the whole story effortlessly to maintain the underlying interest to the very last words.
My profound thanks to the rights holder from whom I received the gift of Cached Out, via Audiobook Boom. As well as thoroughly enjoying the story, I have had a glimpse into a world, that of geocaching, previously unknown to me. Prior to reading this book, I had never heard of geocaching. It sounds such fun - Sadly, I am no longer in a position to take part myself but I received such vicarious pleasure in the exploits here presented I will certainly be looking into it further. A great investigative adventure with a twist that I can happily recommend wholeheartedly.
- Norma Miles