Private eye Eli Quinn returns to track down the person controlling a drone used in a political assassination attempt in Britt’s (Closure, 2015) latest mystery.
Quinn, now an officially licensed private investigator, has one case under his belt and is currently waiting for his next client. He and his reporter pal, Samantha Marcos, brave a hot Arizona morning in the town of Pleasant to watch state senator Jackie Brand discuss her plan to end Sheriff Horace Otto’s program targeting undocumented immigrants. Volunteers, including Quinn’s buddy Jack “Beach” Beachum, handle security at the event but don’t anticipate a drone flying into the podium and exploding. The senator fortunately survives but ends up in a coma. Beach, wary of the sheriff’s apathy regarding any investigation, asks Quinn to look into it, passing along a clue: a homing device among the rubble that points to an inside job. Still, narrowing down the suspect list isn’t easy, as potential drone pilots could belong to the Desert Drone Club or could have studied at the Arizona Drone University flight school. Anti-immigration groups, too, strongly oppose Sen. Brand’s immigration policy. It isn’t long before Quinn thinks someone’s watching him, and soon, there’s a more overt threat: a muscle-bound thug who shows up at his house uninvited. Luckily, Quinn has backup—most notably, his trusty German shepherd companion, Solo. As in his previous novel, Britt hits the ground running in this relatively short tale. The expedited plot gets the PI on the case as soon as possible and generally works in the story’s favor; however, Quinn does lock onto suspects perhaps a little too swiftly. The series as a whole shows some progress, adding an ally in the form of hard-core gamer/CIA guy Pauly Peters and more formidable villains who can match Quinn’s taekwondo prowess. Solo is, again, irresistible, and his unspoken rapport with Quinn is even more engaging than the hints of romance between Quinn and Sam. One standout is the PI’s certainty that Solo is aware of an impending face-off against some baddies because people had “discussed the plan in front of him.” That said, there’s refreshing subtlety in the human couple’s slowly developing relationship, as well.
A brisk detective novel sequel that packs a punch.