Corporate Asset: A Jack Taggart Mystery

Don Easton. Dundurn (UTP, Canadian dist.; Ingram, U.S. dist.), $11.99 mass market (392p) ISBN 978-1-4597-0821-1
When Virgil Cruikshank tries to buy his way out of drug-related charges with a wild tale about his brother Oskar’s murderous insurance scam, undercover cop Jack Taggart is skeptical and then outraged as the criminal proves his bona fides by implicating himself in a lesser crime—a series of brutal rapes. Taggart is disgusted at being forced to give Cruikshank immunity for the rapes in exchange for the chance to end a cold-blooded murder-for-profit spree going back almost a decade, but he sees no reasonable alternative. Trusting fellow police in Vancouver to catch Virgil without his direct help, Taggart heads to Asia to offer himself up as live bait to the insurance-scam killers. What begins as a Coventry-esque fable about the conflict between worthy goals—stopping one rapist versus stopping a gang of ruthless killers—and the subsequent uncomfortable moral decisions forced on law enforcement develops into a standard action-film plot, complete with snappy Bond-like one-liners from Taggart. Having set up a potentially interesting conundrum in the seventh book in this series, Easton proves unequal to the task of actually exploring it, turning instead to the comforts of thrilling action and familiar clichés. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
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