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Bad Boy Boogie

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Bad Boy Boogie

Mysterious Book Report No. 296

by John Dwaine McKenna

For all of my adult life, New Jersey was a place I landed in and took off from at Newark International, rented a car and headed up the Garden State Parkway, bound for the family homestead in the Catskills.  Jersey was a place overcrowded with traffic, bad roads and wretched, impatient, sue-happy drivers . . . somewhere I wanted to pass through as fast and expediently as possible.  Then came The Sopranos on HBO, and years later, Boardwalk Empire, plus another network show about the Shore which showed the Garden State in a more entertaining fashion that softened my attitude and improved my feelings some.  Now, comes a new novel  that takes all that Jersey swagger  and  epic bad-assiveness to a whole new level . . . to the utter delight of every crime fiction lover who reads it.

Bad Boy Boogie, (Down and Out Books, PB, $17.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-1-943402-59-5) by Thomas Pluck, takes place in Nutley, just across the Hudson River from New York City, and begins when forty-something Jay Desmarteaux comes back to town after a twenty-five year jolt in the Jersey State Prison at Rahway for murdering a savage, psychopathic, vicious high school bully.  Jay’s come back to the scene of the crime to pick up the pieces of his life and extract a measure of revenge by living well, in the words of Okie, his mentor while in the penitentiary.  Unfortunately for Jay however, the father of the boy he killed is now the Mayor, who burns with desire to extract a revenge . . . as does the Chief of Police and several of his officers.  Now grown-up, they were the dead boys high school posse, and all of them want to inflict some pain on their old enemy, Jay Desmarteaux.  Jay just wants to have a job, find his missing adoptive parents and tête-à-tête with his old girlfriend, but she’s married the rich kid who testified against him at the murder trial.  As if that’s not enough to deal with, there’s an organized crime captain, who wants Jay gone, or dead.  Maybe both.  All Jay has left to fight with are his wits, a tomahawk his father carried in the Viet Nam war and the friendship of Tony, a bullied follower back in high school, now a bulked up gym rat and owner of an auto repair business catering to high-end performance cars.  The task is near-impossible, the odds of Jay coming out alive slim, and the corruption bottomless in this electrifying piece of stylish and tough as tough can be, cutting edge noir.  Bad Boy Boogie lives up to every aspect of its name and carries that theme through to the end.  It’s one awesomely entertaining summer read and Thomas Pluck is a writer we’ll be on the lookout for from now on because his tough guy writing is so good and his characters are so bad!

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Crime Song

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Crime Song

Mysterious Book Report No. 295

by John Dwaine McKenna

Last winter, in MBR No. 275: The Second Girl, we introduced our audience to an ex-Washington D.C. cop turned crime-fiction writer named David Swinson, who’s created one of the best anti-heros to come down the pike in, I dunno, like forever.  He’s a retired D.C. cop turned private investigator named Frank “Frankie” Marrs.  The fictional character is a man with a habit, a former Narc, now a narcaholic, always jonesing for a snort or a swig, or a 1 mg Klonopin to even things out.  He’s a man who’s living a lie.  He wants to stay on the side of the angels, but he’s made a deal with the devil, and Frankie’s in league with him.  Now, we’re happy to report that Frankie’s  back, in a second installment.

Crime Song, (Mulholland Books/Little Brown and Company, $26.00, 354 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-26421-1) finds Frankie getting perilously low on cocaine, just as his addiction to it is growing larger.  He’ll have to score soon, or run out.  That’s unthinkable.  He needs to identify a dealer . . . and rob him.  But before he can do it, his Aunt Linda calls with a request for him to check up on his cousin Jeffrey, who’s been cutting classes at George Washington University, and now has to attend summer school.  Although reluctant to mix family and business, Frankie agrees, because his aunt was his surrogate mother after his own mother died and Jeffrey is like a little brother.  Although worried about replacing his rapidly diminishing stash of cocaine, Frankie focuses his attention on the nephew, tracking him to a popular nightclub run by a moonlighting cop named Willie Jasper . . . where Frankie watches his cousin Jeffrey engage in some low-level drug trafficking.  Then Frankie’s home is burglarized.  All of his electronics are stolen, including his collection of vinyl albums that belonged to his deceased mother, but worse than that a .38 caliber pistol is missing from his bedroom and used to murder Jeffrey.  His dead body left in a pool of blood on the floor of Frankie’s ransacked house.  It then becomes a race against time as Frankie tries to prove his innocence, find his cousin’s killer, defend his life against some crooked cops who’re determined to kill him, redeem himself with his Aunt Linda, girlfriend Leslie and cop buddies . . . while at the same time concealing his addictions and duplicitous double lifestyle.  And, oh yeah, somehow, somewhere, some way . . . replacing all that illegal white powdery stuff he’s been sticking up his nose like a madman.  Frank Marrs is a man without a plan, on a collision course with disaster, unless he can somehow slip out of the ever-tightening figurative noose he’s got around his neck.  If you like ‘em hard-boiled and then some, Frankie’s your guy for awesome summer reading!

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Sorrow Road

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Sorrow Road

Mysterious Book Report No. 294

by John Dwaine McKenna

The green rolling hills of West Virginia

are the nearest thing to Heaven that I know

though the times are sad and drear

and I cannot linger here

they’ll keep me and never let me go . . .

are the opening words to a song that was made famous by Emmylou Harris.  It was written by a folksinger, poet and one-time rail riding hobo named Utah Phillips—and it expresses his appreciation of, and love for, the incredible beauty of our thirty-fifth state. But, just like the rest of Appalachia, there’s another side of West Virginia, a place that’s been striped of natural resources, stripped of jobs and stripped of hope.

Sorrow Road, (Minotaur Books, PB, $15.99, 351 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-08959-5) by Julia Keller is the fourth novel in her Bell Elkins series, all of which take place in Ackers Gap, West Virginia . . . where she’s the prosecuting attorney for Rathune County.  It’s a place hemmed in by mountains, beleaguered by seemingly unending snowstorms with raw, arctic-like temperatures in the present day . . . and it’s where, back in 1938 a crime was committed and covered up and forgotten, only to resurface in the twenty-first century with the death of an old man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in an Appalachian nursing home.  That’s when an old college classmate and fellow attorney asks Bell to look into the circumstances . . . the man was her father.  He was one of three local men who served aboard a battleship at Normandy during the D-day landing in 1944, where a short conversation results in deadly consequences seventy-two years in the future.  As the bodies pile up and the mysteries deepen, this poignant tale of past deeds and modern consequences will keep you glued to the pages as the mystery unfolds while Bell juggles her job, iffy love-life and  adult daughter Carla, who’s come home suddenly . . . harboring a dark, shameful secret of the go-to-jail kind!  I promise . . . you won’t be able to put this tense and near-perfectly plotted novel down once you start reading.  Although the MBR got to Ms. Keller’s party three books late, we promise to remedy that soon.  And hey! Stay tuned, she’s got a new one, Fast Falls the Night coming in August.  We’re looking forward to it.

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The Freedom Broker

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

The Freedom Broker

Mysterious Book Report No. 293

by John Dwaine McKenna

This week’s MBR is an international thriller by a debut author that takes off with the first sentence like an F-18 Hornet under full military power, and never, ever, ever stops accelerating!  And hey . . . I can almost hear you thinking . . . That’s a pretty bold statement Johnny, and, like Animal said to Joker in the movie FULL METAL JACKET, “You can talk the talk . . . but can you walk the walk . . .” Oh yes. I can. And this start of a series is one hot summer read you just don’t want to miss if you crave original, action-adventure thrillers of the first class.

The Freedom Broker, (Quercus, $26.99, 361 pages, ISBN 978-1-68144-310-2) by K.J. Howe, starts out on page one with a dead-of-night combat mission by a team of hand-picked, private-contractor commandos.  They’re dropped by helicopter into the thick of the Nigerian jungle, where they’ll attempt to rescue an oil company engineer who’s been kidnapped and held for ransom by a militant terrorist group whose stated goal is to emancipate the Niger Delta.  The rescue team is being led by a woman named Thea Paris, who’s one of only twenty-five elite kidnap and ransom specialists in the world . . . and the undisputed best of the bunch.  Her task is to do whatever it takes to retrieve the hostages, bring ‘em back alive, and all in one piece.  She’s involved in the K & R crime wave because twenty years earlier, her brother Nikos was abducted in the middle of the night while she hid and watched, paralyzed by fear.  Nine months later, after their oil tycoon father paid a multi-million dollar ransom, thirteen year-old Nikos was returned, utterly changed and Thea has been racked by guilt ever since.  No sooner does the hostage rescue team return from Africa however, than Thea’s billionaire father Cristos is snatched from his yacht by a commando squad who executes the entire crew before making their escape in a black helicopter.

All that action takes place in the first fifty pages as Ms. Howe plunges her readers straight down into the treacherous and murky depths of the kidnap and ransom criminal universe, where events take place some 40,000 times per year, all over the globe, and collect hundreds of millions of dollars.  Dollars which are then used to finance terrorism, overthrow governments and promote anarchy.  The Freedom Broker will lift some of the shroud of secrecy that encompasses this ever-growing element of crime.  The author is getting rave reviews from everyone who’s anybody, including some of the biggest A-list writers and best-selling authors in the world.  Ms. Howe will enlighten, thrill and entertain all readers with one of the most enjoyable novels of the year to date!  Read it, see for yourself and get to know this most promising and talented of new thriller writers.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Celine

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Celine

Mysterious Book No. 292

by John Dwaine McKenna

In order to be successful, today’s crime fiction writer must be able to come up with a unique, new and different kind of detective that readers haven’t encountered before.  Let’s face it, we’ve all seen Sam Spade, Spenser, Marlowe and Miss Marple many many times already . . . as well as an endless number of clones, look-alikes and downright rip-offs of iconic characters like Hieronymus Bosch, Joe Pickett and Jack Reacher.  You know the type: tough, scuffed, and jonesing for alcohol or drugs . . . maybe both.  It’s a hard task in today’s turbocharged, fast-moving, hyper-competitive world to speak with a truly original voice, but thanks to human creativity and ingenuity, it’s not impossible . . . only improbable.  This week the MBR has found one of those improbable, sought after gems that only happen once in a blue moon.

Celine, (Alfred A Knopf/Penguin Random House, $25.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49389-7) by Peter Heller is his third stand alone work of fiction, and may indeed be his best yet.  It comes two years after his spectacular 2015 sophomore effort, The Painter, which won the prestigious Reading The West Award in 2016, and, although two-years seems like and endlessly long wait in this age of the 140 character Tweet and five-second soundbite, Celine was worth waiting for.  That’s because she’s the rarest of commodities—and scarce as the queen of unicorns—the improbable, but genuine, original and one hundred percent unique private-eye detective.  You want new? Different? Someone you haven’t seen before? How about a sixty-eight year old female PI who’s on oxygen, suffering from emphysema as a result of a four-pack a day habit for several decades; a New England blueblood whose waspish roots are so deep, they reach all the way down to pre-revolutionary, colonial soil; a woman with artistic talent and an Ivy League education, who only accepts cold cases that could reunite families, because underlying everything, Celine is woman with secrets and guilt, and special skills from a past which haunts her every day; and she’s a woman who, along with her seventy year-old husband Ray, uses inductive reasoning . . . assembling known facts to reach a conclusion based on personal experience . . . and giving her a higher rate of closed cases than the FBI.

In this present case, Celine is contacted by a young woman named Gabriela, who saw an alumni journal article featuring the elderly detective with the unique methodology and spectacular closure rate.  Gabriela asks for Celine’s help in finding her father, a world-famous photographer who disappeared twenty-some years earlier while on a photo assignment in Yellowstone Park.  He was declared dead, presumably mauled and eaten by a grizzly bear.  So begins the seemingly impossible task of locating someone who’s long-gone and dead as dead can be.  It’s a hunt that will take Celine and her husband Ray from Brooklyn, to Denver, to Yellowstone and beyond in a search that puts all of their lives in jeopardy.  As mysterious forces begin shadowing her every move however, she’s compelled to reveal many of the secret elements of her life and expose her amazing talents . . . bit, by bit, by bit.

Mr. Heller is fast-establishing himself as a world-class wordsmith who creates some of the most unusual and original figures in modern American fiction.  Celine may just be his best-ever character.  She’s certainly the best so far, and one the MBR hopes to see again.

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The Lioness is the Hunter

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

The Lioness is the Hunter

Mysterious Book Report No. 291

by John Dwaine McKenna

The battered city of Detroit, Michigan seems like the perfect setting for a beat-down, cynical and wise-cracking private eye who’d be considered a real loser . . . if he wasn’t so damn good at solving the toughest cases in the face of near-impossible conditions.  His name is Amos Walker and he’s as hard-boiled as they come, an anachronism from the golden age of pulp fiction in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s when the shamus’s were always lonesome, the dames were smokin’ hot, sultry, and often duplicitous.  In his latest caper, The Lioness is the Hunter, (Forge/McMillan, $25.99, 246 pages, ISBN 978-0-7653-8845-2) author Loren D. Estleman pits his throwback PI against the most dangerous . . . and duplicitous . . . woman in the world.  She’s an arch-criminal and international fugitive named Charlotte Sing, or Madam Sing, as she prefers to be called, a previous combatant and arch-enemy of Walker.

The yarn begins when a Detroit real estate investor named Carl Fannon hires Walker to find his partner, Emil Hass.  He’s gone missing just as the pair are about to close on a large, and historic, downtown Detroit skyscraper known as the Sentinel Building.  It seems that both partners must be in attendance to effect the closing of the sale.  Walker takes the case, but gets his first twist when Haas shows up and makes arrangements to meet the detective at the Sentinel, where the investor will show Walker the reasons for his misgivings about the purchase, and explain his concerns about his partner.  The next day, when Walker gets to the empty and decaying building, he finds Carl Fannon . . . dead.  And that’s the second twist in what will turn out to be a complex, noirish and fast-moving novel with a  barrelful  of  fiendishly new  plot twists still to come.  For example . . . Madam Sing was executed by the North Koreans in a previous Amos Walker mystery.  So, how can she be in Detroit, confronting Walker again?  You’ll just have to read The Lioness is the Hunter  for yourself, to find out.  With seventy-plus novels to his credit and a boatload of awards, Loren D. Estleman’s an author every crime fiction enthusiast should be familiar with and read.  His books are among the best of the genre, and perfect for  relaxed vacation reading. Enjoy!

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The Spy Across The Table

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

The Spy Across The Table

Mysterious Book Report No. 290

by John Dwaine McKenna

Although prognostication and predicting the future isn’t what we normally do here at the MBR, there’s always exceptions, and this is one.  I’m gonna stick my neck all the way out to the cut-on-the-dotted-line tattoo and forecast the near future.  In about a week and a-half—June 20th to be exact—a new thriller will be released that I think will be the hottest read of the summer season, if not the whole year.  I know, I know, that’s a bold statement, but it’s one helluva bold book.

The Spy Across The Table, (Simon & Schuster, $26.00, 435 pages, ISBN 978-1-4767-9491-4) by Barry Lancet, is the fourth—and most electrifying installment—of his highly acclaimed, widely praised Jim Brodie series of international thriller/mysteries.  Brodie, a San Francisco art dealer specializing in high-end Japanese antiques, just wants to be an ordinary guy, a widower and single parent of a precocious and endearing seven-year old daughter named Jenny . . . but circumstances and a most unique skill-set prevent that from ever happening.  That’s because he grew up in Tokyo, where his father owned an investigative agency.  Brodie’s a martial-arts master, an expert in the art, antiquities, history and culture of Japan . . . and speaks, reads and writes fluent Japanese.  He’s also the half-owner of Brodie Investigative Services in Tokyo and works with the San Francisco Police Department on cases involving Japanese-Americans, or whenever a liaison to their community is needed.

As The Spy Across The Table begins, Jim Brodie is in Washington D.C.  He’s attending a Kabuki play at the Kennedy Center Opera House with Mike Dillman, his college roomie and close friend.  “Mikey,” as Brodie calls him, is a production designer in Hollywood, making sets for the movies.  He’s there to meet Sharon Tanaka, a world-famous designer from Japan, and another Brodie friend and contact.  Brodie himself was there to enjoy the Kabuki art-form and introduce the designers, who’ve never met.  But mere moments after the play begins and the pair are just getting to know each other, an assassin shoots and kills them.  Brodie intercedes, but loses the fight and the gunman—a spanish speaking professional killer—manages his escape, unknown, undetected and unharmed.  Brodie is devastated, vows revenge and is summoned to the White House . . . where he is given a directive he can’t refuse.  The order puts him at odds with the security services of four different nations, puts him in the crosshairs of the most deadly spy in China and puts him physically into a place he probably won’t survive, all while trying to rescue a hostage whose mind contains enough coding secrets to unlock the deepest vaults of American’s NSA super computers.  Her name is Anna . . . and she’s the only daughter of Sharon Tanaka.  The action, and the mystery starts with the first sentence . . . Mikey was shot because he begged me for a favor and I complied . . . then expands, deepens and darkens in every chapter thereafter with a twisted intensity that even Niccolo Machiavelli would appreciate.  The threats, suspense, double crosses and heart-stopping thrills never end in this chilling, and realistic masterpiece that could be tomorrow’s international news.  If you’re a fan of Flynn, Meltzer, or Dan Brown, you’ll be all-in with enthusiasm for Barry Lancet and his good guy PI, Jim Brodie.  He’s tough, unusual, honest and absolutely awesome!

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A Divided Spy

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

A Divided Spy

Mysterious Book Report No. 289

by John Dwaine McKenna

For some arcane reason . . . known only to themselves and the cosmos . . . the Brits are the masters of the spy novel universe.  One only has to think of the names Ian Fleming and John LeCarré, or their iconic fictional spies, James Bond and George Smiley to know what we mean.  But now, there’s another writer from the English Isles by the name of Charles Cumming, who’s created the next unforgettable MI6 super-spy.  His name is Thomas Kell.  In his third, and newest installment;

A Divided Spy, (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 356 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-02104-5) Mr. Cumming has Thomas Kell in limbo.  Bitter, disillusioned and apparently, done with MI6, the secret service he’s devoted his entire life to.  All Kell has left is grief . . . for the woman he loved who was murdered in Istanbul by Russian operatives, and rage . . . at the Kremlin and it’s clandestine service: The SVR.  Wallowing in grief, anger and self-pity, a chance encounter at a remote Red Sea resort offers Kell an opportunity for revenge against the Russian agent who orchestrated that death.  Plotting to avenge her assassination, Kell goes rogue, mounting an outside-the-law effort to ‘turn’ the SVR agent by recruiting him as a double agent.  The Russian would be reporting SVR and Kremlin secrets to the SIS . . . the British Secret Intelligence Service.  But, the business of spies is lies, and an exquisite game of cat-and-mouse ensues; during which it’s hard to tell who is recruiting who.

At the same time, radical Islamic terrorists are plotting a devastating, catastrophic and bloody terror attack on an unsuspecting group of British vacationers.  In a masterful piece of plotting, author Cumming seamlessly blends the two elements and boils them down to a terrible dilemma for Thomas Kell: loyalty to himself, or loyalty to his country?  The answer will leave the reader gasping for breath and looking for other novels by this exacting thriller writer!

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What You Break

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

What You Break

Mysterious Book Report No. 288

by John Dwaine McKenna

One year ago—May 2016—in MBR No. 246, we alerted our readers to a new, compelling and haunting crime fiction character by the name of Gus Murphy.  He’s the embodiment of the noir persona, a man dealing with a boatload of personal pain and grief, while living and operating on the gritty south shore of New York’s Long Island . . . a place of crime and gang infested streets as far removed from the glitzy, super-rich north shore hamlets on Long Island Sound, as ice cream is from burnt meat.  Now, he’s back, in the second installment of what looks to be a long-running and well-read series that will finally get Reed Farrel Coleman the long overdue Edgar Award he so richly deserves.

What You Break, (Putnam/Penguin Random House, $27.00, 357 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-17304-2)  finds the  beleaguered John  Augustus Murphy  still living at the Paragon Motel in Suffolk County, still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and still driving the courtesy bus to the airport on the night shift.  He eats his personal pain, mourning the untimely death of his son and the breakup of his marriage internally, self-medicating himself with alcohol and a two-pack-a-day habit . . . his only friends are Slava, the mysterious east European, Ukrainian or Russian night doorman, and Felix, the desk clerk.

Gus’s self-induced fog of grief is lifted temporarily, when he’s coerced by a shady billionaire into finding out why his granddaughter was stabbed to death, with promises—and an uncashed $50,000 check—to fund a foundation in John Murphy Junior’s name.  The Suffolk County Police Department has the girl’s killer in jail, but he won’t talk and her grandfather is desperate to know why.  At the same time, Slava’s past deeds come back to haunt him, demanding retribution.  When Gus  witnesses a cold-blooded execution, both his life and Salva’s hangs in the balance, forcing Gus to evade the cops, street gangs and the relentless Russian mercenary who wants to kill him.  As Gus digs deeper, the mysterious twists and turns pry open doors on a past that’s better left forgotten . . . where sleeping monsters start to awake . . . forcing Gus into a Faustian bargain with the Devil, as he struggles to save them all.  The intricate plot will leave you guessing to the end, and the tough-guy action will keep you focused on page after page until the electrifying conclusion as Mr. Coleman demonstrates his absolute mastery of the crime fiction craft.  This one’s five-stars all the way! We just hope that the CWA judges are paying attention!

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Vicious Circle

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Vicious Circle

Mysterious Book Report No. 287

by John Dwaine McKenna

Although our focus here at the MBR has always been finding debut authors with promising talent and an outstanding story to tell, the unvarnished truth is that there’s a few A-list writers . . . James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, or Michael Connelly for example who we always read and review, whenever they publish a new novel.  We’re going to add the name C.J. Box to that short, illustrious list, because his Joe Pickett stories about a Wyoming Game Warden are just too damn good to miss out on.  They’re timely, addressing such hot topics as the Endangered Species Act, Federal oversight—and overreach—of state land, trophy hunting, private militias and Posse Comitatus being just a few that were touched upon in his first sixteen Pickett novels. Now, in the newest tale, the past comes back to haunt him, as bad boy Dallas Cates gets out of prison and vows revenge.

Vicious Circle, (Putnam/Penguin Random House, $27.00, 367 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-17661-6) by C.J. Box, finds good-guy Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden badge number 20, gearing up and getting ready for his busiest time of year, the fall hunting season.  It’s when there’s an influx of out of state hunters and multiple big game harvests, all at the same time.  As if that’s not enough to deal with, Joe’s notified that Dallas Cates has been paroled from the Wyoming State Penitentiary and is back in Joe’s hometown of Saddlestring, where he’s been seen in Stockman’s bar with a couple of other ex-cons, vowing to ‘get’ Joe, and his whole family.  Cates is looking for revenge, because Joe was instrumental in sending him to prison, and was front and center in a climatic showdown and gunbattle at the Cates Family compound.  That’s where three members of his family were killed and his mother was sent to prison in a wheelchair . . . on a life sentence . . . all of which took place in Mr. Box’s last novel entitled Off The Grid.  But things really start to heat up when Dave Farkus, a local barfly who was in Stockman’s on the same night as Dallas Cates and his friends, disappears and may have been hunted down and murdered . . . while Joe Pickett watched in horror from a spotter plane overhead.

With an intricate, tightly-written plot and a compelling, family-oriented backstory, Vicious Circle will keep you glued to the page as Mr. Box spins the yarn to it’s conclusion with the sure hand of a master wordsmith at the peak of his powers.  He’s a writer every fan of crime fiction should be on intimate terms with, as he writes some of the best western-themed novels in print today.  That’s when you, like me, will become a steadfast, loyal and die-hard fan of C.J. Box!

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