The Edge of Justice by Clinton McKinzie was a breath of fresh air. I seem to be in the mood for suspense novels of late and picked up this novel. It was slow getting started but ended up picking up a quick pace and I couldn’t put it down.
The story features Federal Agent Antonio “Anton” Burns who is also known as “Quickdraw.” It’s an unflattering nickname that he despises. It was penned for him by a reporter who wrote a story about a undercover sting that went bad. Anton had shot and killed three gang members and the gang member’s family is suing for wrongful death; so off to Laramie, Wyoming he goes for damage control. Shortly after arriving in Wyoming he is handed a conflict of interest case by the assistant attorney generals office that might involve a connection of a prosecutor who has political ambitions.
A woman is found dead at the Rocky Mountain peak and the suspects are probably mountain climbers. Anton is handed the case not only for his being a skillful cop but also because he comes from a family of climbers. Anton is a risk-taker and has that hunger known to all climbers to feed the “Rat” as they term the adrenaline rush one gets from climbing. It’s a sordid case because the suspects who are on trial for the woman’s murder are probably innocent and it’s up to Ant to find the real suspect. So, Anton has no problem blending into the mountain climbing community to ferret out information. In fact many of them know him from his past climbing exploits.
The story is a good one and the characters are rather interesting. Anton is a cop by trade but his passion is climbing. He also has a somewhat complex relationship with his brother Roberto. He was found guilty of murder and sent to prison. Roberto is also a junkie. The author is able to show that despite their different paths in life, at the heart of their relationship, the two brothers share a love of climbing that stems from their youth. It’s an interesting dynamic that often causes problems for the hero.
There really isn’t much in the way of a romantic relationship however Anton does eventually hook up with a journalist who happens to be related to the AAG. The other problems I had was that the story is slow to start but once you get past a couple of chapters it does take off. Anton goes through many trials and tribulations in his case that often made it hard to read. What I love about this story is that the author made his characters real and flawed. The story is also told in first person. Ant is a very interesting character and I enjoyed Clinton McKinzie’s debut very much. This book gets an A from me because the story had an interesting and well executed plot and the lead character, Antonio Burns’s narrative made this novel an enjoyable read.
[tags]Clinton Mckinzie, Edge of Justice, Mystery Review[/tags]