SHADOW MEN: A Max Freeman Novel

Jonathon King, Author . Dutton $23.95 (261p) ISBN 978-0-525-94807-0

Though moody ex-Philadelphia cop Max Freeman has found a measure of peace in life, he faces some of the same challenges in King's third stellar outing as he did in last year's Visible Darkness . Government types are still trying to evict him from his Everglades hideaway, his love life is tenuous and friend/attorney Billy Manchester has once again piqued his interest with a case. Max, now a fully licensed PI in Florida, agrees to look into the disappearance of a father and two sons who signed on for three weeks of work on the Tamiami Trail 80 years earlier and never made it home. Built across the Everglades, the trail is the stuff of legend, filled with murky water and murkier deeds, snakes and gators and untimely death. The case, of course, is more complicated than it seems, with corporate intrigue, intimidation and the sins of fathers raining unmercifully down on their sons. As usual, Max is aided by a lively cast of characters, including the mysterious Nate Brown, whose knowledge of the Glades and its secrets is part of his being. King strikes a deft balance between his extraordinary South Florida setting and an engrossing tale of inhumanity and greed. This fine novel resonates with the atmosphere and immediacy of the Everglades, as well as with Max's struggle to define himself in an often hostile world. (On sale Mar. 29)

Forecast: Blurbs from Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben and the continuing popularity of Florida as a crime locale should ensure a place on genre bestseller lists. King's debut, The Blue Edge of Midnight (2002), won an Edgar Award.

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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