He's a beat-up, tired ex-mechanic, ex-race car driver, ex-con who is loyal to a fault -- fault to the nth degree -- to his friends. And with friends like these, nobody in the world, as they say, needs any enemies. But he has plenty of those, too.
It's not that his friends mean him harm. It's just that when they need a big favor, especially a favor that will likely result in violence, they always turn to Sax. And he always responds generously and whole-heartedly because he's a genuine nutcase. Very lovable one.
In this entry, his old friend Eudora Spoon, who is an 82-year-old recovering alcoholic dying of cancer, begs Sax to find her son in California. She wants to see him one more time before she dies. And so the adventure and the mystery begin.
Sax becomes involved in and of course in danger from: a washed-up ex-TV star; a frustrated ex-football star; a vicious Mexican drug gang led by a sly and cruel sharpie; and, somewhere in there, a murderer -- specifically, the murderer of the very woman who got him into this mess in the first place.
Wild car chases; passionate love affairs past and present; violence aplenty; and best of all, an ending that is both surprising and stunning. It will leave the reader wondering and hanging on -- just like one of the characters, both literally and figuratively. The ending defies all the conventions and cliches that make so many mystery novels derivative and predictable.
Ulfelder and Sax strike again.
Please note: This review is based on the advance reading copy provided by Minotaur for review purposes.
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