Saturday, October 24, 2009
"A greedy mind is satisfied with no amount of gain." Proverb
Charlie Hood is back after his adventures in "L. A. Outlaws."
After the shooting and internal affair investigation in that story, Charlie asks for a more quiet division. He is assigned to the Antelope Valley Division.
While he and Officer Terry Laws were riding together, Terry is murdered by a man with an automatic weapon. Charlie wonders if the killer's gun jammed or did they want to leave him (Coleman) alive as a witness.
Internal Affairs reassigns Charlie to their unit so he can lead the investigation into Laws' killing. It doesn't take long for Charlie to see that Laws was a crooked cop, from the expensive mansion he lives in, to a bogus charity, to the weekly deposits of $7,200. into his account.
Laws and Coleman Draper arrested Shay Eichrodt, supposedly because he just killed two cartel couriers. There was $340,000 in his trunk which they brought to the leader of the cartel in Mexico and began their weekly payoffs by carrying the money over the boarder.
This novel was not up to the excellence of "L. A. Outlaws." In my opinion, the author felt that his readers would already be familiar with the protagonist. Therefore he did not do much character development. In addition, there were times that it was confusing to follow when the writing changed from first person to third person in a short sequence.
Finally, Coleman Draper was an unusual antagonist. At times he seemed honorable and sincere but at others, he didn't hesitate to either take a life or order someone killed. Perhaps the author is telling us that although a character may be evil, it is still possible to possess some good traits.
This author is one of only three people to have won the Edgar Award for Best novel two times. The other two are James Lee Burke and Dick Francis. That is nice company.