After a one-book hiatus, p.i. Tres Navarre (The Devil Went Down to Austin, 2001, etc.) is back with a vengeance in a page-turner about a vengeful sociopath.
Will Stirman is a monster. He steals, rapes, traffics in humans, and murders indiscriminately. And knowing about the hot night on San Antonio when his wife and baby were killed, Tres has no trouble understanding his homicidal rage. Vowing payback, Stirman breaks out of Floresville State Prison, eight years into a 99-year stretch, and heads toward Tres. Not that Tres was complicit in the ghastly double murder. He wasn’t even around at the time. Nor was his boss and mentor Erainya Manos guilty of any involvement. Her late unlamented brute of a husband and another San Antonio private investigator had been the triggermen. Never mind: To stone killer Stirman, such nice distinctions are as meaningless as pockets in a shroud. Tres, who likes Erainya a lot and feels he owes her, knows that high noon will find him standing shoulder to shoulder with her. The question is whether Tres—tough, courageous, resourceful, skilled in martial arts—will be shoulder enough.
Just when you think the shamus subgenre might have been milked to death, along comes talented Riordan to demonstrate what brisk pacing, smart plotting, and an immensely likable protagonist can do to revive it.