A former cop tries to pull the pieces of his devastated life together—but will he find salvation in a murder investigation?
Fluharty’s debut thriller centers around ex-cop Mason Foxx, whose perfect life is destroyed by the kidnapping and murder of his small son. Mason’s grief-stricken wife commits suicide and the killer gets off on a technicality. Seeking salvation, Mason flees San Diego for Chicago. One night in a seedy bar, Mason gets in a fight with three shady characters, using his knowledge of martial arts to beat them to a pulp. But one of the men is the head of a shadowy criminal organization, and sends his best killer out to seek revenge. As bodies stack up around him, Mason teams up with an attractive Chicago detective, Tara Rose, to find the killer before he kills again. Will she heal Mason’s tortured psyche in the process? Fluharty, a former Vietnam pilot, puts his flight experience to good use in this novel, and also showcases an authority on police technique and procedure. The story is briskly paced, and the narrative remains central without disappearing behind extraneous information. But, at times, the book’s brevity works against characterization, specifically Tara. She is one of the central characters, yet doesn’t appear until one-third of the way through the story. When she does show up, she throws career and caution to the wind to fall in to bed with Mason and team up with him on a rogue investigation; this, despite the fact that she is previously described as determined to become a police officer. The inconsistencies in characterization may detract from readers’ enjoyment.
An uneven, romantic thriller that will appeal to genre fans.