A fast-moving thriller that leaves a trail of blood and grit across the pages.
Former NYPD cop Marshall Grade lives in Santa Fe these days, courtesy of a “blown tail job in Koreatown” and a federal witness protection program. The feds have set him up in a safe house he hardly uses, preferring to sublet the place to his friend Felix, a wanted felon. So Marshall is completely anonymous, without even a fake ID. Best, he believes, to leave no trace at all. But he still has a way of attracting attention to himself. He searches for a missing young woman named Alyce Ray, steals a Drug Enforcement Administration agent’s car, and offers a kilo of fake meth samples to a couple of dealers before manhandling them. As he tells Felix, he has “aggravated some people best not aggravated.” Meanwhile, hit man Wayne Banister, also known as the Dallas Man, is approached to take out a mob boss called the Patriarch, but he acknowledges “kind of a conflict of interest,” since he works for said mob boss. Discussions go poorly, and blood flows. Colorful characters abound, and they're all dangerous: soldier-turned–drug trafficker Leon has lost track of $3 million, and he wants it back. “When there’s dollars at stake you have to accept some amount of moral abandon,” he tells a fellow criminal, reminding him, “there’s a dead man in your truck, remember? All chopped up, Dahmer-style.” These men pose a deadly threat to Marshall, but the danger is mutual.
Great dialogue and a hero who won’t stay hidden make this a winner for crime fans.