Thursday, August 2, 2012

Burning Midnight by Loren D. Estleman

    After some 60 crime novels and 20+ in his popular Amos Walker series Loren Estleman has that genre wrapped up.  His stories are assiduously plotted, alive with outre characters, and totally engrossing.  They’re fast reads - not that they’re easy but because readers aren’t able to put them down after a couple of pages.  For me, this is especially true of those starring fast talking, hard-boiled detective Amos Walker.  He drinks too much, smokes too much and fascinates us.

    With Burning Midnight Walker receives an unexpected caller - a friend, Detroit Police Inspector John Alderdyce.  The Inspector is worried about his son’s brother-in-law, Ernesto Pasada, who has apparently gone missing.  Alderdyce is of the opinion that Ernesto has been keeping some bad company, very bad company - a gang called the Maldados who hang out in what is known as Mexicantown.  Well, if anyone knows Detroit, both the upside and downside of Detroit, it’s Walker.  He sets out to help his friend little knowing what he’s getting himself into.

    Now, what do gangs do?  For one thing they feud, which is precisely what’s going on and Walker is smack in the middle.  The Maldados are going at it with the Zapatistas.  Before long a gang leader is killed, then more deaths, fires and bottle bombs.  However, once Walker is involved he  realizes there’s more afoot than a gang war, and that very well may involve conspiracy on an international level.

    It may seem that this time Walker has bit off more than he can chew - read and see for yourself.

    - Gail Cooke

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