Collision Course

Matt Hilton. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9046-7
At the start of Hilton’s hard-boiled but softhearted seventh thriller featuring Portland, Maine, PIs Tess Grey and Nicholas “Po” Villere (after Rough Justice), Tess and Po are looking for runaway teen Hayley Cameron, whom they trace to the Bangor apartment of Hayley’s best friend, college student Madison Toner. The relatively simple investigation gets complicated when the detectives discover that Dominick Burgess, a dangerous criminal, is targeting Madison because she’s running a lucrative insurance scam. Burgess and his cohorts want a cut of the profits and are willing to hurt anyone who objects. Tess, Po, and Pinky Leclerc, a hulking associate whom Po met when they both were inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, try to persuade the scammers to go straight. When that fails, they try to interfere with the gangsters, who reply with kidnapping and torture. Through it all, Tess maintains her faith that most people will do the right thing if they get the chance. Tough-minded characters who take the notion of “conscience” seriously more than compensate for some clumsy exposition. Readers will hope Tess and Po will be back soon. Agent: Luigi Bonomi, LBA Literary (U.K.). (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/18/2020
Release date: 12/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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