27 Nov 2014 No Comments
For once, things are going well for former DEA contractor Jon Cantrell. He’s got a real job as a fix-it man for a law firm that specializes in handling government contracts. But when his ex-girlfriend Piper asks him to meet with a high-ranking police official and Cantrell is forced to take an off-the-books assignment to find a missing boy, everything starts to unravel.
Not helping the situation is his client, Deputy Chief Raul Delgado, an up-and-coming politico carrying his own tragic burdens he doesn’t like to dwell on. Forty years earlier, a racist cop brutally killed Delgado’s brother. Now, in a weird twist of fate, Delgado works for the very department that altered his life.
As Cantrell proceeds, he uncovers a puzzling link between Delgado, the missing boy, and a series of vigilante murders. As the link becomes clearer, Cantrell struggles to stay alive and find the missing child.
Published: December 1, 2014
Rating a book can be difficult at times, and this book is one of those times for me. It started out as a solid 4 stars. Hunsicker has a firm grasp on drawing a reader in with compelling sentences and interesting characters. By the time I was 1/3 into the book, it had dropped to a 3 star rating. By the end, it sat at 2 stars.
While Hunsicker is a good writer as far as sentence structure and such, my problems came with his writing style. First there is the issue of tense switching. We start out with flashbacks of one character’s life – not the main character – in third person present tense. Eventually those flashbacks, for reasons unknown, switch to past tense. Other characters randomly pop in an out with POV parts, some in third person past and some in third person present. The main character is written in first person past tense. As far as I could tell, there was no reasoning behind which tense to use or when to use it.
Joe Callahan, Irish Joe on the street, is in a wood-paneled room at the back of his office on Harry Hines Boulevard, in the northwest section of Dallas. The room is filled with cartons of ammunition and boxes of firearms, stacked to the ceiling.
Then we move on to the story’s timeline, which is a jumbled mess. The flashbacks are not chronological. We move in and out of various years, merely for the purpose of showing us the back story of a character who, to me, is given far more importance than the main character is. These are long pieces, often short chapters. All these flashbacks make it difficult to gain a foothold in the present story.
Raul wished he gave a shit how Bobby felt, like he used to, but he didn’t.
Then we have the plot, which is a different sort of jumbled mess. There is either no plot or too many plots, depending on your viewpoint. We follow Jon Cantrell as he plays fix-it man for his employer. There are many cases that we wander in and out of quickly. Rather than feeling like a coherent plot, this feels more like we’re being shown how awesome the main character is as he juggles all his duties. Several of the “bad guys” in these various cases also have POV parts, so we go along into their lives which have pretty much nothing to do with anything the main character is doing. Hunsicker does attempt to pull the large variety of cases and characters together at the end, but this winds up feeling far too convenient and unrealistic.
“Looks like you got all the blood cleaned up.” I sat in a chair by the coffee table.
The main character doesn’t seem to actually care about any of the cases he’s working. Even the missing child case, which is mostly an afterthought throughout, doesn’t seem all that important to him. If the main character doesn’t care about what he’s doing, it’s hard for the reader to care.
When I finally untangled myself at the end of this book, I felt like the aerobic exercise of following along was far more work than the story was worth.
Thanks for reading.