After being challenged by Jackie Jackson here at Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine to write a few reviews of Florida writers, it was a pleasure to go book searching online for suitable candidates. Thankfully she provided me with some authors names. Most of them were new to me, so that is where I started. Over the next few months, watch for some random ordered reviews.
The first selection I’ve made is a mystery by Jonathan King: Midnight Guardians. It’s actually book six in his series that features Max Freeman, P. I.
Max Freeman was a cop in Philadephia. After he was shot, he left the force and moved to South Florida, to an isolated shack. Now he is a private detective, still dealing with some bad memories that followed him from Philadelphia.
While I haven’t read others by Mr. King, from what I have read each book includes not only Max, but also his partner, attorney Billy Manchester, and girl friend, Police Detective Sherry Richards. Sherry has recently lost a leg, working at regaining her strength.
It took me a little while to get into the story, though I believe if you were following the series from book one, that would not be the case. Much of the character development took place earlier in the series, so if you are starting out midway as I have, you will probably not feel as connected to the popular characters. That said, the recurring characters were likable. It was interesting learning more about them as the story progressed.
When Billy and Max are contacted by a whistleblower, they begin an investigation into medicare fraud. Since the woman is concerned her brother is involved, they find and follow him. But it becomes clear that there is more going on than fake wheelchair orders.
First they see the Brown Man, a well known drug kingpin. Right after that others try to stop them. Add to that, a group of cops taking steroids, willing to protect their secrets.Before long murder, bombs and drugs become more urgent than false claims files with medicare. Max will have to protect both their whistleblower and her brother. It grew more exciting and faster paced as it progressed.
In and through that, you have Sherry and Max working on relationship issues, trying to keep it as Sherry adjusts to the loss of her leg.
For Florida fans, you will recognize Las Olas Blvd and Fort Lauderdale. It always adds interest to a book when you are familiar with the vicinity the author is talking about. I admit, I especially enjoyed the author’s description of the Everglades and the shack where he lives. Paddling a boat, watching for alligators, living a ways from civilization, added another dimension to the story.
I found the book well written and smooth reading—or listening in my case. I listened to the audio version, narrated by Mel Foster. He did a great job.
Next step for me will be to go back to the beginning. To read the first book in the series, The Blue Edge of Midnight. I would like to know more about how Max made his way south.