cover image Black Rifle

Black Rifle

Alex Davidson. Alex Davidson, $13.99 trade paper (286p) ISBN 978-1-7365196-1-5

In Davidson’s assured, multifaceted thriller, ATF special agent Miranda Lopez is assigned a high-profile case—a shooting at an L.A. apartment complex that kills 13 people, including Arianna Barros, the daughter of a U.S. senator known for his passionate support of gun rights and the NRA. Lopez focuses on tracing the firearm used in the massacre, which is, unfortunately, the most common rifle in the U.S., an AR-15. The motive for the killings is also a mystery, and Lopez interviews Arianna’s father in an effort to ascertain whether his daughter was deliberately targeted or just a random victim. The large, varied cast includes Cal, an assassin hired by Arianna’s father to solve her murder before the authorities; D’Andre, a Chicago teen who grew up in one of that city’s worst neighborhoods, whose hopes for a meaningful future end up dashed; and Ryan, an Arizona high school student and white nationalist. Despite the unsympathetic nature of many of the characters, Davidson avoids stereotypes and smoothly juggles the various plotlines. This augurs well for a sequel. (Self-published)