H. Terrell Griffin
Oceanview, Nov 16 2009, $24.95
Retired lawyer Matt Royal enjoys mellowing at his home in Longboat Key, Florida. The Vietnam vet prefers doing nothing of consequence and believes he earned it after years of trial by fire.
However, his idyllic life is interrupted when someone assassinates his friend Professor Laurence Wyatt, who like Royal was a trained killer, but became a gentle soul once he left the military. Their mutual friend Debbie the bartender and hacker does some data base mining for Royal who got a tip from the cops, but finds nothing of interest except Michael Ruperts who turns out to be a one trick ghost. Soon after Royal begins his inquiry, someone fire bombs his car and shoots at him. However, the persistent beach bum learns another Floridian professor working with Wyatt on a Vichy France study was also murdered. With his friends Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton as back up, Matt goes after the assailant trying to prevent him from learning the truth now and in WW II France; unaware the answers lie in Frankfort.
Although somewhat linear with no major twists, the foruth Royal thriller (see Blood Island, Murder key and Longboat Blues) is an entertaining tale as the hero gets shot at on two continents. The story line is fast-paced from the opening moment when a stunned Royal cannot believe someone splattered the brains of Wyatt and never slows down as Matt follows clues and dodges murder attempts. Fans will enjoy the lay back retiree proving he remains a trained killer.