cover image The Rain City Hustle

The Rain City Hustle

M.D. Grayson. Cedar Coast, $12.99 trade paper (270p) ASIN B0B7QB54DN

In Grayson’s strong sixth crime novel featuring Seattle PIs Danny Logan and Toni Blair (after 2014’s Blue Molly), an old army buddy of Danny’s, Kate Morgan, is in a bind. Kate owns a small film company and is completing production of a murder mystery movie. But the project is put at risk after her boyfriend, Ray LeGrande, the movie’s director, makes a deal with the devil to get the company some much needed cash. In exchange for a $500,000 loan at extortionate rates from mobster Frank Thorne, Ray provides an oil painting worth millions as collateral, but it’s one that he stole from Kate’s father. The detectives learn that the painting’s actually a near worthless display copy, which, if learned by Thorne, will lead to bloodshed. Under pressure to repay the loan and retrieve the artwork, Kate agrees to collaborate in an elaborate scheme that aims at doing both, without anyone getting their legs broken—or worse. Grayson brilliantly lays out the steps to set the stage for the con while keeping readers uncertain whether it will succeed. This is a fun and clever romp. (Self-published)