The Bottom Line: Murder, blackmail and politics collide in this sizzling crime thriller with a jaw-dropper of an ending.
Retired cop Jack Dawson has had everything taken from him. After retiring and losing his wife to a long illness, a mountain of medical bills have forced him to sell everything he owned. In addition, Jack and his son Corey, who is running for a Senate seat in Massachusetts, do not seem especially close.
He soon receives an offer he can’t refuse. For $25,000, a cop moonlighting as a fixer asks him to find a killer. The fixer makes the offer on behalf of a local judge who may be next on the murderer’s kill list. In addition to payment, the judge will keep a secret about his son’s infidelity from leaking to the media.
As he did in his superb novel The Thin Blue Sliver, author Troy Adami delivers stripped-down, spare prose that packs a punch in chapter after chapter. Despite Adami’s economy of words, Jack’s melancholy and desperation is thoroughly embedded in every action, thought and piece of dialogue. In a telling and hard-hitting scene that speaks volumes without being verbose, Jack records an emotional message to his son, which he plans to send in a baseball glove in time for his grandchild’s birthday.
Increasing the stakes is a kill list with the judge’s name on it. The book sizzles as Jack unravels an increasingly engaging murder mystery. Meanwhile, Adami leaves us wanting more details around Corey’s infidelity. Look no further than the political dominance of Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Gavin Newsom to see that, barring extraordinary circumstances, infidelity has practically become a non-factor when it comes to American elections today. With that said, we do eventually get relevant insight about Jack’s personal history, revealing why infidelity may matter so much to him personally.
To say much about the ending would create spoilers, but rest assured – Adami has created a bombshell of an ending that readers won’t soon forget.