Body Slam: A "Touchstone Agency" Mystery

Rex Burns. Open Road/MysteriousPress.com, $14.99 trade paper (283p) ISBN 978-1-4804-4570-3
Edgar winner Burns's third detective series, a spin-off from his Gabe Wager books (The Alvarez Journal, etc.), gets off to a solid start with this no-nonsense PI novel. The leads are Denver-based father-daughter PI team of Jim Raiford and Julie Campbell, and their case is an interesting one. When his wife died, Raiford, an attorney, lost his focus, and messed up a contract for a client, football player Otto Lidke, and was sued for malfeasance. He left the law, and eventually started a detective agency; Lidke reenters his life when the football player hires the Touchstone Agency to track down the person standing in the way of his new venture to start a regional pro wrestling federation. Lidke has his suspicions—he believes Sid Chertok, the local front man for a national wrestling group, is responsible for his inability to book events anywhere in the area. The case quickly turns violent, which gets Denver PD's Wager involved, but Raiford and Campbell have trouble confirming Lidke's beliefs. Well-developed main characters are a plus. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 05/12/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
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