A special-ops cadre kicked out of Afghanistan resurfaces in northwestern Florida.
Pulled away from his sons’ Little League baseball game to deal with a GI armed with a Kalashnikov, Barrett Raines, of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the local sheriff are forced to take down Quentin Hart, who for reasons unclear to them seems to have engineered suicide-by-cop. Miles away in a New Orleans Harrah’s Casino, undercover agent Brenda Mantle spots Raul Carrera passing funny money. Her alertness leads to her abduction, torture and murder, and Raul’s being nudged off his motorcycle by someone eager to keep the counterfeiting scheme secure. Agent Raines (Pepperfish Keys, 2007, etc.) and representatives from many government agencies are soon vying for jurisdiction and zeroing in on The Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel, but there are many unanswered questions. Why, for instance, are members of a disbanded special-ops contingent either killing themselves or being murdered, and are their deaths tied to the funny money or to an Afghani massacre deployed to cover up a rape by one of them? More will die gruesomely before Raines, without a scratch on him, assigns blame not only to local troublemakers but across borders as well.
Wimberley knows his weaponry, swamp terrain and small-town prejudices better than most. If hard-boiled is what you’re after, Raines qualifies as the black hero du jour.