When a gang war breaks out in Dallas detectives Frank Pierce and Rob Solis are on the case, but right from the start, things don’t add up. The first victim appears to have been scared to death, a voodoo doll left at the scene the only clue, and a military-trained sniper is taking down gang leaders left and right in a very atypical modus operandi for gang-related killings.
There’s some great stuff here, particularly in the extremely realistic feel all the police scenes have, from a black female lieutenant worrying about having her chops busted by the higher-ups to the stresses and strains the families of police officers have to live with every day. The author is a former law enforcement officer, and it really shines through in his writing.
However, there’s also some weirdly disjointed things which bothered me, and the story could definitely do with some professional editing and proofreading, with grammatical errors cropping up on just about every page. Point of view switched constantly from Frank to Rob, sometimes without clear delineation, and then we started getting Jesse’s PoV mixed in as well. Since Jesse became a protagonist, and was painted as a sympathetic one at that, I was particularly displeased by the outcome of her story.
The climax didn’t make a lot of sense in the context of the story. Frank’s judgement was so compromised he didn’t even ask the killer how they perpetrated the crime and escaped the scene without being spotted. If I was his partner, there would have been a lot more pointed questions being asked than Rob’s essential shrugging off of the problem.
All the good parts of this story can’t erase the fact that the ending was deeply dissatisfying. Two stars.
City of Fear is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.