Here is my review from Amazon, " Another knock out thriller, mystery. I read this in June and just as with each one of Esken's novels, could not put it down. To me , it was helpful to have read his three previous novels for background in the formation of this story and how and why Max Rupert, the main character, does what he does. I was drawn along trying to second guess would Max or wouldn't he? I am not going to reveal what happens, do not want to be a spoiler. I enjoyed the reflection, page 8, of his" childhood notions of right and wrong, impressions as thin as tissue, but layered so thick in my memory that they have become walls of stone." This descriptive wording demonstrates what can stay with us through our lives despite our experiences and reflects the author's descriptive writing.style. Page 167 has another of my favorite passages, " we live in a world of gray. We are the ones in charge of the balancing. We are the reckoners." I think Eskens may have created that term, "reckoners", one unfamiliar to me before I read this mystery. And finally the consideration between justice and vengeance on pages 183-185. I am awaiting the release of Esken's 5th book soon. I became a fan of on Allen Eskens, after meeting him at our library event in La Crescent in April."
Not often do I eagerly await the next bpok, but Mr. Eskens told us he will not be writing quickly, a book a year might be all, this tells me he is not going to just crank out words.
Others have commented that they are just as eager for the 5th book which will be different, as Mr Eskens revealed at his visit with us, "Max will be sitting and contemplating.." Another reviewer addressed some negative comment about this book being written in first person, which did not bother me at all. I agree with this review"There is one issue I want to address, however. An early review criticizes this book for being written in the first person. This book is all about Max Rupert and reveals details of his life growing up and the impact of losing his wife. It deals with his personal struggles and the questions he faces on a fateful night. This book needed to be written in the first person and is more impactful as a result."
Another reviewer commented, "While the character of Max Rupert became increasingly important in Eskens's previous three works, the study of this police detective, clearly from this work ethical, moral, and dedicated, holds the reader grippingly throughout its relatively short span. The narrative is disturbing because quickly the reader comes to understand the deep-seated conflict Rupert faces - yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to do go about police business. And, yes, we've seen the experienced police operative driven to work off-the-books by the circumstances of the political bureaucracy that big-city police work has become. But Rupert's motivations lie deeper, more personal. And the best among us, I suspect, might quickly succumb to the dark sides of our souls given the stakes Rupert faces."
I believe it is the sign of a good read to generate so much discussion and thought. Here is the last page, of what I consider a 5 ***** novel Read this novel if you like mysteries, but read the previous first to better comprehend this character, Max.