Friday, March 1, 2024

The Diabolical by David Putnam Book Review

About the Book:

Ex-cop, ex-con Bruno Johnson is hiding from US law enforcement in Costa Rica with his wife, Marie, and the twelve children they rescued from toxic homes in south central Los Angeles. Bruno works at the Lido Cabana Bar at the Punta Bandera Hotel, and his friend, Karl Drago, is getting married on the beach right outside. After the festivities, Bruno and Marie go skinny dipping in the ocean, but they’re quickly interrupted by a visit from law enforcement.

A shooting has just occurred at El Gato Gordo nightclub, and the victim is a prominent local figure and Bruno’s close friend. The chief of police asks Bruno to help investigate, but the stakes are higher than ever—if Bruno doesn’t find the shooter, the chief will turn him over to US authorities.

Everything is complicated further when Bruno becomes a victim of a crime himself, realizing that someone else may be after him. Bruno has to juggle the police investigation with figuring out who’s targeting him—if he drops the ball, it might be the last thing he ever does.

My Review:

This is a good addition to the ongoing saga of Bruno. He is a complex character, rescuer of endangered children, among other pursuits. Bruno's location in Costa Rica is a hideout for many evading the law. Many of the people he knows are not who they claim to be. Trouble seems to follow him around and in this novel Russian agents play a part. My favorite character, though, was Waldo, a helpful canine sidekick.

Putnam writes from his own experiences on the force and I really like his Author's Note at the end explaining that. There is lots of violence, blood and death in this novel. While it is part of a long running series, it reads pretty well on its own. The are enough bits of backstory included to understand Bruno's history and current actions.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

During his law enforcement career, “Deputy Dave” Putnam worked primarily in California on teams for Patrol, Investigations, SWAT, Narcotics (street level and majors), Violent Crimes, Criminal Intelligence, Internal Affairs and the Detective Bureau.

He rounded out his law enforcement career with a few years in the Hawaiian Islands as a Special Agent–part of a real-life “Hawaii-50” team.

He’s now retired from law enforcement and spends his time growing organic California avocados and writing, with his wife Mary and their three dogs.

Oceanview Publishing, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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