cover image The Fairfax Incident

The Fairfax Incident

Terrence McCauley. Polis, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-947993-05-1

Set in 1933, this intriguing standalone from McCauley (A Conspiracy of Ravens and two other James Hicks thrillers) features former NYPD detective Charlie Doherty, who’s now a PI with a patron, Harriman Van Dorn, who steers wealthy clients his way. One such client, Eleanor Blythe Fairfax, hires Charlie to prove that her husband, Walter, was a murder victim, not a suicide. After reading the file, Charlie thinks it will be an open-and-shut case, his only duty to convince the widow that Walter’s death was indeed a suicide. But he reconsiders after finding that the initial police report omitted several important details, including two phone calls: one Walter received, and one he made shortly before his death. That someone later takes a shot at Charlie when he tries to open the safe in Walter’s office confirms it’s a case of homicide. The tension mounts as he gets on the trail of a plot to undermine the U.S. government. The closing patriotic note may be too saccharine for some, but readers will hope to see more of the likable, capable Charlie. Agent: Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary. (June)