A Washington, D.C., attorney packs his bags for Kansas City, where he takes on drug-dealing mobsters, in this thriller.
After years in Washington, Jeff Trask requests a transfer to the Kansas City U.S. Attorney’s office, where his lawyer friend Cameron Turner works. One of Trask’s first moves as senior litigation counsel is to indict 60 individuals on drug-related charges. But trouble is already brewing within the Kansas City Mafia. Readers know that “Little Dom” Silvestri and his goons the Gonzalez brothers have whacked John Porcello, convinced that he was a rat. Not only was that an unsanctioned hit, but the trio also killed John’s wife, Margie, who was the sister of the local don, Anthony Minelli. Complicating matters are Little Dom’s defiance of mob policy by pushing heroin and an unknown shooter later assassinating the Gonzalezes. Meanwhile, Trask, as expected, has made it to trial with only one of the 60 indictments. But the fallout of Little Dom’s actions ultimately generates evidence that the attorney may be able to use against the Mafia. And the blatant threat of someone firing two slugs into his house isn’t enough to dissuade the resolved Trask. The recurring protagonist has already tackled Herculean tasks, such as a political assassination and Islamic terrorists, in five crime dramas. So while mobsters are no more menacing than past villains, Rainer’s (Death Votes Last, 2017, etc.) change of scenery gives the character a breath of fresh air. Furthermore, the author, as in preceding novels, excels at fully developing a bevy of characters for this first installment of The Kansas City Files. The bad guys in this tale, including Little Dom’s mob-tied father, Big Dom, are just as enthralling as the virtuous players, particularly Trask’s wife, Lynn. The story thrives on the attorney’s legal fisticuffs, relayed via dialogue-laden scenes. Secondary plotlines nevertheless shine, from one of Trask and Lynn’s beloved dogs facing a serious medical condition to the protagonist identifying a potential drug courier during a flight.
The persistently entertaining lawyer leads a superb batch of characters and subplots.