FREE RANGE INSTITUTION by Michael Haskins

FREE RANGE INSTITUTION

KIRKUS REVIEW

Key West is afloat in drugs, bars, characters with shady pasts and jaywalking tourists resplendent in newly purchased T-shirts.

Journalist/sailing bum Mad Mick Murphy and his gal pal, attorney Tita, are lucky enough to be walking by when Jay Bruehl, a KWPD snitch, takes a header off the roof of the Hotel Key West. Naturally, Murphy tells a few lies to get inside info on what happened, and before you can say “Hog’s Breath Saloon,” Murphy is chugging beers with Padre Thomas, who talks to angels, and incurring the wrath of the sheriff, the police chief and various tough guys working for the DEA, the CIA and other federal agencies, although they’d rather keep their ties a secret. Then super-rich Key West honcho Carl Dey asks Murphy to track down his grandson Johnny, who’s spent several years hanging out with drug-cartel types. Johnny, it seems, is somehow connected to the death of Bruehl and another DEA agent. Drinks are poured. Secret spooks appear. Padre Thomas sees more angels. Uzis and grenade launchers spew their deadly rounds. Will Murphy take a hit? You betcha—but not before he and various Feds set traps for Columbian drug-runners and turncoats well-hidden within the Key West commissioner’s office.

The plethora of gunplay, café con leches and authorial silliness maintains the low standard set by Chasing the Wind (2008).

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59414-929-0
Page count: 382pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2010




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