Michael Koryta, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-33245-7

A pair of PIs investigate the murder of one of their own in Koryta's sharp, fast-paced debut. Crusty old John Weston hires partners Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard to investigate both the death of his son, Wayne, in an incident the cops have ruled a suicide, and the disappearance of Wayne's wife and young daughter. Perry and Pritchard soon determine that Wayne was working for Jeremiah Hubbard, "Cleveland's answer to Donald Trump," in a series of surveillance jobs that brought him into contact with Russian mobsters. The case heats up considerably when the detectives locate Randy Hartwick, a Marine who served with Wayne in a special ops unit, only to have him shot right before their eyes. The cat-and-mouse game shifts to South Carolina, as Perry noses around a Myrtle Beach resort where Hartwick had worked security, only to stumble into Wayne's daughter and wife, who are staying at the same hotel. Julie Weston reveals that she has a videotape her husband made of the mobsters committing a murder, and soon they're both in danger when the Russians come looking for the tape. Although he occasionally tries to substitute jaded PI patter for genuine character development, 21-year-old Koryta delivers well-crafted scenes and genuinely surprising plot twists. This riveting detective novel should delight fans looking for new talent. Agent, David Hale Smith. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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