While tracking a vengeful sniper, a private investigator slowly begins to form a new family in Florida in Williams’ (Tears of God, 2014) crime novel.
Noah Greene, a fan of such fictional detectives as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, left his family and his job as an insurance investigator in Cleveland to become a private eye in Miami. As penance for abandoning his family, he specializes in helping people find missing relatives. He inherited a fortune from one of his clients, so he can pick cases that truly speak to him. In this third volume of Williams’ series, Noah has grown as a detective following a tragedy. His son Jeb was kidnapped in 2014’s Tears of God, and he remains mute and institutionalized months later. Meanwhile, the local police have no love for Noah, as they don’t appreciate amateurs on their turf; he also has to deal with his bickering housemates, journalist Charlie Hall and ex-con Mickey, and his lawyer-turned-lover Kay Woodson. Noah takes on a couple of cases involving a father who disappeared 15 years ago and a Marine sniper who’s suspected of killing his squad-mates. He discovers that neither one is as straightforward as it initially appears, and he and his friends soon find themselves in danger. Williams continues Noah’s education in the school of hard knocks in this thriller, but he engagingly develops the character along the way. Noah is slowly honing his sleuthing instincts, for example, which serve him well, as his clients and witnesses constantly lie to him. He’s also learned how to accept help, taking on Charlie and Mickey as sidekicks. The author does an admirable job of sprinkling false leads throughout for Noah and police detective Seth Larkin to chase. The narrative’s pace follows that of Noah’s investigation, full of starts and stops. However, Noah’s empathy for those he helps is consistent throughout, which does make him sympathetic—despite his ill-conceived decision to desert his own family.
An involving installment of an offbeat detective’s journey toward redemption.