Veteran tracker Walter Sherman finds himself slogging neck-deep through some of the 20th century’s best-kept secrets in this second novel in Greener’s “The Locator” series (The Knowland Retribution, 2006).
British lord and international smuggler nonpareil Frederick Lacey had his hands in a fair share of the last century’s goings-on. Ever hear of the Kennedy brothers, Jack and Bobby? Yeah, Lacey’s the guy who killed them. And there’s plenty more where that came from, all of which will be coming to light now that Lacey has died, leaving behind his enormous fortune and, more importantly, his diary, which his lawyer, the estimable Anthony Wells, has strict orders to make public. There are quite a few people, however, who’d like to get their hands on Lacey’s papers before the yearning masses get a look, and when low-level Foreign Service bureaucrat Harry Levine goes missing with the diary in hand, his aunt, the lovely but treacherous pop-star Conchita Crystal, calls retired tracker Walter Sherman—aka The Locator—to track him down. In the ensuing chase, Sherman tangos with hired killers, old Kennedy clan operatives, the CIA and his own memories of past failure as he tries to keep Levine alive and the Lacey papers out of the wrong hands. It’s all more than a little preposterous. More problematic are the tedious, digression-filled character backstories. Dull and ham-handed, these sequences work less to bring Greener’s characters to life than to put his readers to sleep. And the seemingly endless passages wherein Sherman and his buddies Billy and Ike laugh it up around their favorite St. John bar—well, those are just painful. The action and espionage scenes are plenty entertaining and well-plotted. Too bad Greener couldn’t just let them be.
Too much filler makes for a humdrum thriller.