Greer benches series hero CJ Floyd (The Mongoose Deception, 2007, etc.), who’s sorely missed in this slow-moving tale of murder and big-time basketball.
Bail bondsman CJ Floyd, whose smarts, toughness and gravitas have served Denver so well, isn’t about to be drawn back from his Hawaiian honeymoon, though clearly Damion Madrid, his godson and protégé, is in over his head. Damion’s friend, and everybody’s All-American, Shandell “Blackbird” Bird, has been snuffed out as he stood at the very edge of a brilliant new career. Having signed a multimillion-dollar NBA contract, Blackbird was weeks away from joining the Denver Nuggets when a sniper’s bullet ended the dream he’d cherished since fourth grade. So Damion has to know why. And who. Since his godfather isn’t available, he turns to ex-Marine Flora Jean Benson, CJ’s partner, for badly needed sleuthing help. There’s no dearth of suspects: the beautiful, blonde, hard-shelled girlfriend whose six-foot-one meal ticket was showing signs of disenchantment; the on-again-off-again dad whose fondness for Blackbird bloomed suspiciously late; and a surfeit of others. It turns out that Blackbird had as many dark secrets as fancy floor moves. Greer fills his tale with red, white and black herrings, but he takes a long time to get where he’s going, and he disappoints when he finally gets there.
A low-scoring game.