cover image The Devil’s Triangle

The Devil’s Triangle

Howard Owen. Permanent, $28 (240p) ISBN 978-1-57962-499-6

At the start of Owen’s superior sixth outing for Richmond, Va., reporter Willie Black (after 2016’s Grace), a twin-engine Beechcraft plane crashes into the Dark Star bar, killing 22, injuring 29, and fueling wild speculation about the cause of the crash. Was it a terrorist act, suicide, or an accident? The pilot is identified as David Biggio, a former Richmond resident who was once arrested for stalking his former wife; the plane belonged to James “Chopper” Ware, who owns a hardware store in a tiny town on the Chesapeake Bay. Black uses all his journalistic resources, including such strong supporting characters as Peachy Love, the police media relations person, and elderly Jumpin’ Jimmy Deacon, who gives him a lead to Biggio’s ex-wife. As usual, Black finds himself at odds with police chief Larry Doby Jones and with his newspaper’s publisher, Rita Dominick. An unexpected insurance policy, the discovery of a murder victim, and a man’s hidden past keep Black digging. Owen’s informed treatment of Richmond and its declining daily paper is perfect. (June)