In Harvey’s (Dead on the Vine, 2014) thriller, police suspect a former Texas cop of murder, and everyone thinks he’s stashed and stolen $15 million in loot.
Valentine Justice nearly died four years ago in a gunfight against criminal brothers Lamar and Lemuel Sutton. The Suttons weren’t so lucky, and Internal Affairs forced Val into retirement, lest he face murder charges. Val vehemently denied shooting and crippling little sis Abby Sutton in the same shootout, but when she turns up dead in the present day, he becomes the primary suspect in her murder. Abby, however, had told her dad, con man/preacher Garland, that Val knew where her brothers’ pilfered fortune was, and now cops and criminals alike are after the $15 million in cash and gold. Val and his lawyer wife, Victoria, are desperate to keep themselves and their twin sons safe. Harvey loads his novel with action and mystery from start to finish. Dubious goings-on ignite almost immediately: Victoria surmises that the sheriff’s Special Tactics Unit might have offed Abby because she was witness to the STU killing a member of the motorcycle club she headed. And when Dallas police go to arrest Abby’s boyfriend, Axel, he claims “some cop” called him to warn him that the DPD was on its way. Harvey wisely holds off the flashback to Val’s shooting until late in the story; by that point, readers will almost certainly doubt the protagonist and be itching for the narrative to either confirm or debunk the belief that Val’s a murderer, thief, or both. Even Victoria is unsure of her husband’s culpability and, in one of the best moments, ends a voice mail with a blunt “Don’t kill anyone.” Nevertheless, the couple’s bond is undeniably strong, and they’re both formidable individually as well, whether they’re armed or simply using judo-trained hands. The final act is astounding, with most characters focused on the $15 million and prepared to do whatever it takes to get their hands on it, including a dangerous double cross. It’s bloody, to be sure, but also intense and filled with a few surprises that readers aren’t likely to forget.
Features blistering gun battles and a veritable heap of plot twists.