Summary from Amazon.com
“When a pregnant federal judge is abducted, Max Freeman pursues an eccentric gang deep into a hidden world he knows better than most: the shadowy waterways of the Florida Everglades
US district judge Diane Manchester has looked across the courtroom into the eyes of evil before. But today, as she presides over the extradition hearing of a notorious Colombian drug lord, she is also eight months pregnant. Her chair is uncomfortable, her robe is constrictive, and her due date is fast approaching. If she shows a single sign of weakness, Diane risks jeopardizing the biggest trial of her career and setting a vicious murderer free.
In seconds, her situation takes a harrowing turn for the worse. Walking to her favorite lunch spot, Diane is grabbed off the street, thrown into the back of a white van, blindfolded, and threatened with death. She has no idea who her kidnappers are or what they want. Maintaining a strict code of silence, they refuse to give her even the smallest glimmer of hope.
But Diane’s captors have overlooked a crucial detail: Her husband, Billy, is the employer and best friend of Max Freeman, Philadelphia cop turned South Florida private investigator. Tossing off the rule of law, Freeman sets out to determine which of a rogues’ gallery of suspects took Diane—and to save her and her unborn child before it’s too late.”
A mystery novel tends to capture the intrigue of the reader from the very start – this book was no different – we immediately meet Diane on her home turf of her Federal Courtroom over seeing a Federal Drug Extradition case when an innocent move to go out for lunch alters her day-week-and maybe even her life! Then you add to the puzzle on Max Freeman – the usual investigator who used to be a copy and has all the same toys and resources as the cops BUT also has resources available to him that the cops would not even think about using…the pieces of this puzzle were thrown out on the table as the reader is left wondering where to even begin to assemble them.
The author set the tone and pace of the book from the first page – he was going to gradually introduce us to the characters – their lives – their history and every piece of them from top to bottom – but then the instigators, the kidnappers are the ones we know very little about. Kind of a flip flop of sorts for your usual mystery novel where you are given a little insight into their lives, the reasoning behind what they are doing, even sometimes who they are working for should that come into play – this time the reader is left guessing until the very end. Those responsible are a mixed-group of people who really don’t know the whys of what they are doing – just that they are being paid handsomely for it! That mystery of who is paying them is one that the reader doesn’t find out until very late into the book – that is unless your are a veteran mystery book reader one can pick-up on hints dropped to figure it all out!
All in all, I was pleased with this book – from start to finish I was always left wondering why? Who? and will Max get to Diane before she goes into labor? Overall I will give this book Five out of Five Stars!
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in Exchange for an Honest Review**
About the Author, Jonathan King
Edgar-award winning author Jonathon King is the creator of the Max Freeman crime series set in the Everglades and on the hard streets of urban South Florida. In his previous career as a journalist, he was a police and court reporter for 24 years with theSun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Philadelphia Daily News.
“I have basically cannibalized my past news writing career to create the crime novels I now write. I’ve been on dozens of crime scenes, sat for hours in courtrooms, spent three days in a Florida prison (as a guest) and interviewed too many cops and victims and criminals and traumatized family members.”
“I’ve watched autopsies performed, sat in the back seat of a patrol car during a high-speed chase, had a gun pressed to the back of my head (mistaken for a dealer by an undercover cop) and sat in a bar with a detective watching a midget cocaine dealer lick the barbeque sauce off his stubby fingers while negotiating the sale of six kilos.”
In 2000 King spent two wintry months alone in a mountain cabin in North Carolina hiding out and writing the manuscript for The Blue Edge of Midnight which won the 2002 Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American author.
After writing three more novels in the series, King quit journalism and now writes full time South Florida. His most recent work, Midnight Guardians, continues the Freeman series and is set in King’s beloved Everglades where he canoes and airboats and tromps about regularly.
**borrowed from Author Website, http://www.jonathanking.com**
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