Shadow Girl (Afton Tangler #2) by Gerry Schmitt (3 out of 5)

I got this as a freebie from Stefan at Penguin Random House. Thanks! It’s newly out in hardcover. Not too bad. I should note that this is the SECOND book in the series. I think you could, like myself, start it here and be alright. It’s not a nailbiter by any means, but a satisfying read. There aren’t a lot of surprises, but the author lays out the plot and all of its participants and it runs pretty smoothly. But again, not a nailbiter. I kind of wanted to stop reading halfway through because it was running along slowly. My problem, as a reader, is that my favorite genre is psychological suspense. Which has a lot of shadiness, dark surprises, savagery at times reminiscent of me left alone in a room too long with popcorn. Regular mysteries do not really do it for me. There are exceptions, obviously. I wanted to disclose this. It didn’t color my enjoyment of the book, although it did make me antsy midway through to pick up the pace. Of the book, not picante sauce. As mysteries go, a decent read. 

Leland Odin, head of the international television network The Diamond Shopping Network, is dying in a hospital from heart problems. His donor heart is on it’s way to the hospital when the helicopter carrying it is shot down. Days later, as Max and his partner Afton try to get to the bottom of what happened, they decide to pay the dying tycoon a visit. They run into a doctor who tells them that Leland is very ill and not to be disturbed and very critical. There’s something very wrong here, from the Asian doctor with the nametag reading “Sanchez” to the vibes that Afton cany ignore. The doctor disappears and she and Max discover Leland has been attacked, his head practically cut off his body. Afton runs out of the hospital after the phone doc, and gives chase. She pounces and almost gets him, but the wily Asian does a number on her and injures her so bad that she ends up in a hospital. That man, Nagong, is irate that this American hurt him and voes he will exact revenge. He informs his boss, an older lady named Chao Mom Cherry, that he killed the man who hijacked her drug shipment. Leland is, indeed, fatally injured. Cherry isn’t through yet with her vendetta of revenge. She and Nagongbhsveva third accomplice, a Southerner named Hack, who has a thirst for violence, women, and cocaine, and he is their liason in this foreign country. Leland’s partner at DSN, Jay Barber, goes for a run after hearing of his partners death, and Hack gets him and the three kill him after trying to determine where her drug shipment ended up. They also do away with the young doc who had given them the information on what plane Leland’s heart was coming in on. The two bodies end up in a pigpen on a desolate farm, and Max and Afton know they have very big problems on their hands. They try to getbinfo from the deceased men’s families, only to encounter walls of resistance. Through nothing short of a series of breaks and due diligence of the department, they manage to figure out who the killers are. It isn’t until Nagong attacks Afton, her daughters, and even the adorable bulldog, that they realize it goes deeper than they thought, and they need to apprehend immediately. On the other side, Cherry and her team of yes-men do get their precious cocaine shipment and are preparing to move it across state lines, when Leland’s drug addled daughter gets wind of how much it is worth, and steals the truck with her druggie boyfriend, right under their noses. An epic battle plays out, bringing us to the inevitable close of this thriller. Honestly, it really did pick up steam after the 34th chapter; before that, I was mildly intrigued but not to the point that I couldn’t put it down. When I say 34th chapter, I do mean that. It has 50-some odd chapters, but they are shirt and concise ones, so it does go by quickly; it’s not a “Gone with the Wind” type situation. Good stuff, good characters, just a little too quiet for me on all fronts. 

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~ by generationgbooks on August 12, 2017.

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