Monday, January 26, 2009

A False Dawn-Tom Lowe

A False Dawn
Tom Lowe
Minotaur (St. Martin's), Apr. 2009, $24.95
ISBN 9780312379179

Widower homicide detective Sean O’Brien left the Miami police department after promising his beloved late wife Sherri in a death bed promise he would give up criminal investigations. Sean packed his bags and accompanied by his dachshund Maxine leaves Southern Florida for rural Volusia County near the St. John's River.

He enjoys his quiet life with Max. One day while they hike through the nearby near
Ocala National Forest, he finds a badly battered Hispanic girl who he suspects was raped, dies in his arms. Volusia County PD detective Slater follows the book and considers the ex-cop as his prime suspect. Although he knows he is breaking his pledge to Sherri, Sean believes she would want him to investigate the homicide. His effort soon leads him to a Miami serial killer The Bagman, and with Police Detective Leslie Moor to human trafficking of migrant workers sold to the farms as slaves; to the pimps as hookers; or as cash crops harvesting organs to sell to transplant medical facilities.

This is an exciting investigative thriller starring a likable reluctant hero who enjoys his time away from the cement jungle, but feels a need to bring justice to the dead girl and to prove his innocence. The story line is action-packed though overwhelmed by the combo Bagman and slave trade; either would have sufficed. Still fans will enjoy Tom Lowe's exhilarating human trafficking tale.
Harriet Klausner