The Pine Barrens Stratagem
by Ken Harris
February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Rockfish's luck changes when a Hollywood producer reaches out, but the job is two states away and involves digging up information on a child trafficking ring from the 1940s. What he uncovers will be used to support the launch of a true crime docuseries. He grabs a mask, hand sanitizer and heads for South Jersey.
On-site, Rockfish meets Jawnie McGee, the great granddaughter of a local policeman gone missing while investigating the original crimes. As the duo uncover more clues, they learn the same criminal alliance has reformed to use the pandemic as a conduit to defraud the Federal Government of that sweet, sweet, stimulus money.
It's not long before the investigation turns up some key intel on a myriad of illicit activity over the last eighty years and Rockfish rockets toward a showdown with the mafia, local archdiocese and dirty cops. COVID-19 isn't the only threat to his health.
I found this an interesting hard boiled private PI novel. Rockfish is a flawed hero. While he's tough, aggressive and daring, admirable traits in a PI, he drinks way too much alcohol. He's full of himself too, thinking he knows better than law enforcement. In this case he may be right as the characters include dirty cops working right along with the mob. There is enough swearing and use of foul language to paint a graphic picture of the characters.
I like that Harris sets this action within the pandemic. Wearing masks becomes quite an issue and many characters make critical statements of government actions to stem the virus. It seemed to me both sides of the aisle were attacked equally.
This is a good novel for readers who like a hard boiled, hard drinking, hard swearing PI working to solve a mystery from years ago. I did come to like Rockfish a little more toward the end of the novel where we are set up for a sequel. I'll be looking for it, wondering if Rockfish will be a bit more mature in his next adventure.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: Crime Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: January 27th 2022
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 1684338719 (ISBN13: 9781684338719)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Catch Up With Ken Harris:
BookBub - @08025writes
Twitter - @08025writes
Instagram - @KenHarrisFiction
Facebook - @kah623
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!