St. Martin's, Mar 1 2011, $25.95
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Barrett "Bear" Raines attends a little league game when duty calls. In the Devil’s Slew swamp, Afghan vet Quentin Hart has taken his girlfriend prisoner. Bear and Sheriff Smoot Rawlings arrive at the scene hoping to talk down the angry former combat soldier with no body getting hurt. Instead, Quentin races out of his home holding his automatic rifle pointed at the cops. They kill him as each knows the veteran committed suicide by cop.
Bear feels depressed over the incident though he knows he and Smoot did the right thing. He investigates Quentin’s last days trying to understand why he snapped. Aided by other law enforcement officials he soon uncovers a connection to vets involved in counterfeiting and money laundering. The FBI believes they kidnapped and beheaded one of their agents in New Orleans. As the evidence mounts that this is a dangerous gang based in Florida but working in Mexico and Afghanistan, someone is targeting these vets for death.
Devil’s Slew is a fascinating police procedural in which the chaotic story line showcases how convoluted an investigation can become. Fast-paced from the moment Bear and Smoot arrive in the aptly named swamp and never slowing down, readers will appreciate Darryl Wimberley connecting dots between Florida, Mexico and Afghanistan in Bear’s latest thriller (see Pepperfish Keys).