Vengeance is Wiley’s after a talented young musician is taken down.
Ronnie Jones was a bass-playin’ fool. Virtually everyone liked the eager puppy dog, except, of course, for the lowlifes who did him in. Ronnie’s friend Wiley, professional poker player and amateur sleuth, thinks he knows who they are. What’s worse for the lowlifes is that his opinion is seconded by Leon, his closest friend, and Portland, Ore.’s, Angel of Death. Quiet, understated, lethal Leon is the ultimate vigilante, terrifying to all who’ve seen him in action. But like Wiley he’s a man of honor. It follows that there’s a code, unwritten but compelling, and it dictates that payback must be preceded by proof. As a result, Wiley finds himself trolling for evidence on Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s the 40-year-old’s very first visit to the land of his fathers. Does he find what he’s looking for there? Yes, indeed, and the lowlifes come to rue the day. In a more metaphysical sense, Wiley finds what he didn’t know he was looking for. And that sends his life careening down a path as surprising to him as it may be disconcerting to readers.
Up to now, this series (Wiley’s Shuffle, 2004, etc.) has been admirably rooted in the noir tradition, but watch out. Noir heroes tend to lose their edge when they turn cerebral.