Thursday, October 22, 2009

This is a follow up to "Big City, Bad Blood."
P.I. Ray Dudgeon reluctantly accepts a case to find out what was behind Joan Richmond's recent murder by Steven Zhang. Isaac Richmond, a retired army colonel, tells Ray that he needs closure. He had been speaking with his daughter when she went to answer the door and was killed by Zhang.
Through Ray's best friend, reporter Terry Green, Ray finds that Joan's prior employer was H.M. Nichols, military contractors. There are rumors of assassinations and sabotage by the company's employees. Joan ran the payroll department and now a congressional committee is looking into the company's billing practices. Joan was scheduled to testify to the committee.
When Ray speaks tot he head of H.M. Nichols, he's given a cursory meeting and introduced to Blake Sten, VP of corporate security. Sten attempts to intimidate Ray without success.
What Ray and his buddy. Gravedigger, surmise is that Steve Zhang found something in the company's computer files. Sten fires Zhang with a fabricated story and soon both Zhang and Joan are dead.
I was captivated by the story. Not only is Ray a good detective, in the Sam Spade image (tough and few words), but he shows his shortcomings in his obsession with his former girlfriend, being afflicted with a bad shoulder, and making mistakes that cause two character's deaths. The author also provides some nice plot twists that made the story even more interesting and did a fine job with character development.
Critics agree. "Trigger City" has received the following nominations and awards.
Agatha Award nominee: 2009
Barry Award nomination: 2009
Crimespree Award, Favorite Book of 2008
Dilys Award

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