Below the Line (Charlie Waldo #2)

Below the Line (Charlie Waldo #2)

Eccentric private eye Charlie Waldo is back in another wildly fun and fast-paced thriller lampooning Southern California. Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo was living in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions, until his PI ex-girlfriend Lorena dragged him back to civilization to solve a high-profile Hollywood...

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Title:Below the Line (Charlie Waldo #2)
Author:Howard Michael Gould
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Below the Line (Charlie Waldo #2) Reviews

  • Doreen Lamar

    Loved this book about a quirky ex police officer and his on and off again lady friend who is a PI and wants to team up to solve cases. I just never knew what kinda jam he going to get into and how he would get out. Trying to solve the case they were on and I found out eventually I was way off. Kept me wanting more. This was the second book about the famous LAPD Charlie Waldo and I now will have to get the first one where he is introduced. Highly recommend this book who likes suspense crime thril

    Loved this book about a quirky ex police officer and his on and off again lady friend who is a PI and wants to team up to solve cases. I just never knew what kinda jam he going to get into and how he would get out. Trying to solve the case they were on and I found out eventually I was way off. Kept me wanting more. This was the second book about the famous LAPD Charlie Waldo and I now will have to get the first one where he is introduced. Highly recommend this book who likes suspense crime thrillers.

  • Joseph

    Howard Michael Gould’s novel, BELOW THE LINE, was hard for me to start. The seven Goodreads reader ratings ranged the gamut from one star to five stars (with 2, 3 and 4 stars getting votes, too). Then when I hesitantly started I couldn’t get past the first paragraph, and put the book aside.

    I tried again a few weeks later, and this time I read it. And enjoyed it.

    It seems what Gould did before writing the novel was to outline what non-main characters (including the bad people, the incompetent cop,

    Howard Michael Gould’s novel, BELOW THE LINE, was hard for me to start. The seven Goodreads reader ratings ranged the gamut from one star to five stars (with 2, 3 and 4 stars getting votes, too). Then when I hesitantly started I couldn’t get past the first paragraph, and put the book aside.

    I tried again a few weeks later, and this time I read it. And enjoyed it.

    It seems what Gould did before writing the novel was to outline what non-main characters (including the bad people, the incompetent cop, and plain ol’ liars) did and the motives (without telling the readers (i.e., me) what they were before he wrote anything about the main characters, then had the main characters (Charlie Waldo) and his girlfriend/private detective Lorena Nascimento slowly weave the incongruent threads together, casting aside red herrings, lies, and personal conflicts along the way. It makes for a complex story until all is revealed.

    Charlie Waldo in the first book in the series alienated the L.A. police department and a few other people. It gets mentioned a lot in BELOW THE LINE. The latest book can be read as standalone but it probably would help to have read the first book (Last Looks).

    Overall not a bad story. Gould spends too much of the first 100 pages harping on Waldo’s obsession about environmental sensitivities (e.g., Waldo prefers walking and riding a bicycle to riding in cars. He only owns 100 things. When he acquires a new item, he throws away one he already owns. Let’s not even get into his eating guidelines). That got old. But after 100 pages he focused more on the story at hand and it got better.

    4 stars

    P.S. – I have no idea why the book is titled “Below the Line.” There’s a paragraph explaining what the term means in filmmaking but that meaning has nothing to do with the plot. (except two people were involved in show business)

  • Sue Trowbridge

    A note: while "Below the Line" can stand alone, ideally you should read "Last Looks" first, to learn more about Waldo & Lorena's backstory.

    In his debut novel, "Last Looks," Howard Michael Gould introduced Charlie Waldo, a former policeman atoning for a dreadful mistake he made when he was on the L.A. force. Living the life of a hermit miles from civilization, Waldo was persuaded to return to L.A. by his former girlfriend, Lorena, a private eye who needed his help with a high-profile case. As

    A note: while "Below the Line" can stand alone, ideally you should read "Last Looks" first, to learn more about Waldo & Lorena's backstory.

    In his debut novel, "Last Looks," Howard Michael Gould introduced Charlie Waldo, a former policeman atoning for a dreadful mistake he made when he was on the L.A. force. Living the life of a hermit miles from civilization, Waldo was persuaded to return to L.A. by his former girlfriend, Lorena, a private eye who needed his help with a high-profile case. As "Below the Line" opens, Waldo and Lorena have been back together for a month, and she is urging him to join her P.I. business.

    Lorena’s bread and butter is routine marital investigations, but she’s convinced Waldo’s notoriety could bring in a celebrity clientele. Their newest client, though, discovered Lorena on Yelp. Stevie Rose, a 15-year-old girl who claims to be an orphan, needs help finding her missing older brother.

    Lorena and Waldo soon discover that Stevie is a practiced liar despite her young age, and in fact, her parents are alive and well and producing a soapy teen TV drama called “Malibu Malice.” When Stevie disappears, her parents hire Lorena and Waldo. A teacher at Stevie’s school, who had been rumored to be dealing drugs, is murdered, and the girl becomes the prime suspect.

    Waldo’s rules for living—he refuses to own more than 100 things total, and he constantly frets about his ecological footprint—play an important role in "Below the Line" as they did in "Last Looks," but even more so than in the first book, he constantly finds himself having to make compromises. For one thing, Lorena refuses to respect his rules, and for another, the case winds up taking them all over Orange County, difficult terrain to cover when you limit yourself to getting around via public transit or bicycle. Their relationship is tested over and over again in a myriad of ways, and Waldo finds that there’s still a lot he doesn’t know about his lover.

    Waldo is a wonderfully complex and quirky protagonist, and the mystery is fast-paced and twisty, but my main gripe about Last Looks continues to apply: Waldo is always getting physically pummeled, and still manages to jump right back into the investigation despite grievous injuries that would confine a normal person to bed for a week. He does pop quite a few Percocets; will he wind up hooked on pills if he continues having to deal with rough characters in L.A.’s criminal underworld? Maybe Waldo will eventually solve a case while he’s in rehab. (It seems fitting that Charlie Hunnam, whose character Jax was both victim and perpetrator of heinous acts of violence on the TV show “Sons of Anarchy,” has been cast as Waldo in an upcoming feature film adaptation of "Last Looks.")

  • Kaye

    This delightful book is for people who like their crime-fighting laced with understated humor. Think Lee Goldberg and Robert Crais, but for millennials,

    Howard Michael Gould, the author of Last Looks and Below the Line, matches Goldberg and Crais puzzle for puzzle and with laugh for laugh, and he throws in the eco-conscious sensibility of an ex-cop who wants to keep his carbon footprint so small that he purges himself of all but 100 possessions.

    There are also a lot of boy-girl questions in this s

    This delightful book is for people who like their crime-fighting laced with understated humor. Think Lee Goldberg and Robert Crais, but for millennials,

    Howard Michael Gould, the author of Last Looks and Below the Line, matches Goldberg and Crais puzzle for puzzle and with laugh for laugh, and he throws in the eco-conscious sensibility of an ex-cop who wants to keep his carbon footprint so small that he purges himself of all but 100 possessions.

    There are also a lot of boy-girl questions in this story (not all of them resolved by book's end) and an abundance of potshots at the shallow So-Cal lifestyle.

    Charlie Waldo, the main character, seems to have history with most of the book's other characters, especially Lorena, a private eye who seeks his assistance on a case and invites him back into her bed (past breakups notwithstanding).

    There are characters from the movie business and bad guys who indulge in a little human trafficking on the side, and most notably a very messed-up teenage girl who seems to have toyed with most of the depravities available to prosperous Angelenos.

    I liked Charlie Waldo a lot. My inner jury is still deliberating on Lorena (maybe a little too volatile and capricious to be believable??)

    Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy.

  • Diana

    Another fun adventure in L.A. w/ Charlie Waldo. Such a fun series. And yes, Laguna Beach was way better before all the hipsters discovered it :)

  • Jenna

    3.5 stars

    I read a lot of mysteries and b/c of that, i try to find ones with something different.

    Charlie Waldo is diffent in that his quirk is that he's a minimalist who tries to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. (ie. using public transportation, biking, buying fresh food, etc.)

    It can get annoying at times but he's a smart, likable character anyway.

    the mystery in this one was complex. I didn't figure it out as there were a lot of leads to follow.

    Some humor.

    Lorena wasn't as likable bu

    3.5 stars

    I read a lot of mysteries and b/c of that, i try to find ones with something different.

    Charlie Waldo is diffent in that his quirk is that he's a minimalist who tries to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. (ie. using public transportation, biking, buying fresh food, etc.)

    It can get annoying at times but he's a smart, likable character anyway.

    the mystery in this one was complex. I didn't figure it out as there were a lot of leads to follow.

    Some humor.

    Lorena wasn't as likable but i read this 2nd one b/c after the 1st, i was curious to see how reconciling w/Lorena would effect Charlie. could he still maintain his lifestyle or would he give it up & go back to how he was before embracing "minimalism". It becomes his personal struggle thruout the narrative. It came across as realistic b/c how do u sustain a relationship with a person who has a different way of living from you.

    I look forward to another book in this series.

  • Donna Hines

    Former Detective Charlie Waldo is living as a hermit in a secluded area until his PI ex G.F. brings him back to civilization.

    Lorena truly hopes he can crack the case of a recent murder.

    Hollywood troubles follow Stevie a young rebellious teen living in LA and he's about to accuse his own teacher of seducing him.

    Shortly thereafter she is a target and turns up dead.

    Ironically Stevie Rose goes missing and it's up to our sleuths to find him.

    The characters in this one are quite the shady bunch as the

    Former Detective Charlie Waldo is living as a hermit in a secluded area until his PI ex G.F. brings him back to civilization.

    Lorena truly hopes he can crack the case of a recent murder.

    Hollywood troubles follow Stevie a young rebellious teen living in LA and he's about to accuse his own teacher of seducing him.

    Shortly thereafter she is a target and turns up dead.

    Ironically Stevie Rose goes missing and it's up to our sleuths to find him.

    The characters in this one are quite the shady bunch as the wild goose chase is ON.

    Keep track of this one as it's wild and woolly.

    Thank you to Howard Michael Gould, the publisher, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

  • Susan

    While some of the characters' eccentricities are entertaining I found many of them to be affectations and as a result I couldn't quite believe in them or their motivations. Also the book is pretty grim which clashes with the author's attempts to create a light-hearted and animated atmosphere.

  • Jeanne

    The story was okay but I couldn’t get past the lack of depth. Waldo appears as an ineffective and dull character to me

  • Thomas Lennek

    I won Below the Line by Howard Michael Gould on Goodreads. It was just not for me. I stopped on page 16. I couldn't stomach the hero, Charlie Waldo. His west coast "eco-ness," with his 100 items of ownership was unappealing, unfunny and now, unread.

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