SHADOW MEN (Police Procedural-Florida-Cont) – VG King, Jonathon – 3rd in series
Dutton, 2004 - Hardcover

Former policeman Max Freeman is now a private investigator living in a shack in the Everglades of Florida and taking occasional cases as a favor to his childhood friend, attorney Billy Manchester. Billy has been asked by a young man, Mark Mayes, to find out what happened to his great-grandfather and two uncles who disappeared while working for a private company building the first highway across the Everglades in 1923. Freeman quickly realizes uncovering the past is not only difficult, but dangerous.

It’s the characters, dialogue and sense of place that draws me in and keep me there page after page. Max and Billy are great characters with a strong, involving history. The secondary characters are interesting, rich and dimensional. The contrast between the city and the Everglades, as well as the time Freeman’s spends on the water between the two, adds an atmosphere and richness to the story. The plot is a bit weak—I never did quite understand the motive for the killings in the 20’s, but the sense of melancholy and nature versus nurture was compelling. I’d certainly recommend giving King a try.

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