TITLE: THE PADRE PUZZLE
AUTHOR: DAVID HARRY
Details: E-book received from author
No. 1 Padre Island Mysteries
Before I say anything else about this book I want to mention that if it were possible I would have rated this book 4.5 stars. It may not be perfect, but it is a very good read.
Jimmy Redstone is a Texas Ranger currently on leave after having been shot in the shoulder during an operation which would have seen him charged with murder if it had not been for that injury.
Now, in a last ditch effort to get re-instated to the job that is his life, he's on South Padre Island trying to rehab his shoulder through an intensive work-out programme.
On South Padre Island, located on the Gulf of Mexico near the border between the USA and Mexico, Redstone meets up with Markus Cruses, the son of a former partner of his, who is the local Coast Guard Chief.
Redstone goes out with Markus on patrol after a call out, only to discover that the emergency they thought they were responding to doesn't exist. When they return to the Coast Guard base they discover that a body has been found on the beach and the police have started an investigation.
Unable to resist his curiosity, Redstone starts asking questions about the murdered man himself. Before long he is asked by his superior in the Rangers to conduct an unofficial and under-cover investigation into the murder since the victim on the beach was a Texas Ranger, working under-cover in a drug-running gang.
From there on things move quickly. A second man dies and Redstone soon finds himself officially included in the investigations, partnered with Angella Martinez, a beautiful rookie police-woman. The investigations appear to include every law-enforcement agency known to men and Redstone can't help thinking that he is not getting all the available information.
When Markus ends up in hospital, people start threatening Redstone, demanding he hand over something he doesn't have and Trich, Markus' fiancée turns out to be the daughter of an important Mexican drug-runner, things get murky and confusing.
But never in his wildest imaginations could Redstone have foreseen the magnitude of the threat South Padre Island, he and the USA as a whole face.
I was asked by David Harry to read and review this book for him. I'm usually a bit wary about requests like that because I haven't quite figured out what I will do if it turns out I don't like the book. But, fortunately, this was not the occasion where I had to answer that question.
This is a very well told story. Jimmy Redstone is a wonderful and very realistic main character, and the tale is told at a brisk pace while it also takes the time to give the reader a good picture of the characters and landscapes involved.
I downloaded a copy of this book to my ancient e-reader and for some reason something went wrong with the formatting. This resulted in the book showing up on the reader in sentences that were only one word long, spread over nearly 4900 pages. As soon as I noticed this I knew that the story had better be good and captivating if I were to read it to the end. The fact that I not only made it to the end, despite the desperate reading format, but also gave the book this 4.5 star rating proves beyond any doubt that this is a great mystery.
I look forward to reading the sequel in the future.