An expansive crime thriller about a Drug Enforcement Administration operation in North Carolina.
Debut author Wagoner presents Bo Wagoner: a DEA agent with a love of Mountain Dew and a zero-tolerance policy for bad guys. After Bo assists with a cocaine bust in Florida, he is sent to Boone, North Carolina, to see if he can sniff out any information on the local drug trade. The team not only discovers fields of marijuana and remote meth labs, they find that the local law enforcement is involved in the operations. Bo makes use of undercover agents, a trusty informant, and long hours of detective work to get to the bottom of it all. As the title of the book suggests, a network is revealed, but the question is: How extensive is that network? It’s a thorny predicament that builds little by little, clue by clue. Bo’s work has a meticulous realism to it that allows the reader to see what an actual investigation of this magnitude might be like. This attention to detail provides a close look at the thoroughness necessary for good crime fighting as well as a hefty page count. While it’s refreshing for the reader to observe a less-than-glamorous portrayal of police work, it is not necessary to observe every person Bo meets and every meal he consumes. Unnecessary details range from Bo arranging for his living quarters upon his arrival in North Carolina to the status of the coffee in the office (“The coffee smells good. I think I’ll go and fix me a cup”) to what it takes to get special equipment ordered from DEA headquarters. However, all of the details accrete well. What begins as a small-town drug caper expands to something much more sophisticated.
An exacting portrayal of police work overrun with minutiae.