In the chaotic aftermath of a massive earthquake that leveled much of the Los Angeles region, a LAPD deputy chief sends an elite team of detectives on a rescue mission. They are ordered to set aside all law enforcement duties, to ignore the destruction and to focus on one task: Find LAPD Detective Gavin Shaw, who disappeared just before the earthquake.
Kevin “Schmitty” Schmidt of the Orange County Sheriff's Department joins five others on the rescue team. With rioting, looting, attacks and homicides rampant in the streets, the six cops have to defend themselves while chasing down leads on the whereabouts of Shaw. The mission takes them through a dizzying war zone and the more they encounter, the more they wonder why they are searching for one man in these extreme circumstances. Why is this man so important to the deputy chief, and why now?
Schmitty discovers that others with high connections are also after Shaw. The questions pile even higher when they learn of a shadowy history between Shaw and the deputy chief. A history with deadly consequences for the team as they uncover a threat that elevates the mission to a race against time.
This novel got off to a bit of a slow start but the second half of the novel makes up for it. Schmitty and the team encounter many obstacles in their search for Shaw. It seemed a bit repetitive to me. The action and plot intensity really ramps up about half way through the book. We find out what it is that Shaw knows and why it is so imperative he be found and brought back to head quarters.
We know there is going to be a big earthquake in Southern California some day and this novel gives a good picture of what the area would experience as a result. I had no idea of the large number of gang members and what that would mean to law enforcement after a disaster. Larkin does a good job of describing the lack of mobility and difficulties with infrastructure too.
I really enjoyed the last half of the book when we find out Shaw holds information that might prevent further harm. The rescue team unravels a conspiracy that was decades in the making. And there was a twist at the end that gave me a new appreciation for the remnants that exist after the Cold War. I also like to learn about a topic when I read fiction and this time it was about earthquakes and how they are triggered.
I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a plot with lots of action. And it is a believable one. We wonder if terrorists have infiltrated our society and what they might accomplish. This novel gives a chilling idea of what is possible.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. Click here to view the 'Bullet in the Blue Sky by Bill Larkin' Tour Participants.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Bill Larkin writes crime fiction and is the author of one previous novel and several short stories. He previously served as a reserve with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, then the Los Angeles Police Department where he worked in four different divisions and a detective assignment. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. You can find out more at http://bill-larkin.com/ and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WriteThrillers.
Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: August 4th 2016
Number of Pages: 366
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Tours for the purpose of an independent and honest review.