Charlie 316

Mysterious Book Report No. 376

by John Dwaine McKenna

Charlie 316, (Down & Out Books, PB, $18.95, 398 pages, ISBN 978-1-948235-68-6) by Colin Conway & Frank Zafrino, is an electrifying and propulsive police procedural that takes place in Spokane, Washington . . . out near the Idaho state line.  It combines elements of race, heroism, crime, treachery, violence and murder into a tale that you just can’t stop reading because there’s no end to the plot twists and turns.  They keep on coming, one after another.

Written by two Spokane Police Department Officers, (Conway five years, Zafrino twenty years and retired as a captain) The novel begins when SWAT officer Tyler Garrett stops a reckless driver.  Garrett is a poster child and model officer for the SPD: good looking, college educated, politically connected, decorated for bravery . . . and black . . . on a mostly white police force.

But, only moments after making the routine traffic stop—something he’s done a thousand times—Officer Garrett is ambushed by gunfire from a nearby house.  As he dives for cover, the reckless driver turns and pulls a weapon as Garrett returns fire . . . killing the man and chasing the second shooter in the house away.  Community support, and the legend, of Tyler Garrett grows.  He’s publicly hailed as a hero.

Serious problems start to arise when SPD Internal Affairs Investigators determine that the reckless driver was shot in the back, and his gun has disappeared.  Overnight the Police Department, City Hall, local news and even the national news media are looking into just what happened that night as the whole country focuses on police brutality and with racial roles reversed, Tyler Garrett’s case is at the center of attention.

With time running out, Garrett has to take matters into his own hands, as he tries to find the other shooter and clear his name, before the stunning and shattering conclusion that will leave you shaking your head and wishing for more!


John Dwaine McKenna