Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: South Phoenix Rules

  • Author:  Jon Talton
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590588142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590588147

Product Description

A handsome young New York professor comes to Phoenix to research his new book. But when he’s brutally murdered, police connect him to one of the world’s most deadly drug cartels. This shouldn’t be a case for historian-turned-deputy David Mapstone – except the victim has been dating David’s sister-in-law Robin and now she’s a target, too. David’s wife Lindsey is in Washington with an elite anti-cyber terror unit and she makes one demand of him: protect Robin.
This won’t be an easy job with the city police suspicious of Robin and trying to pressure her. With the sheriff’s office in turmoil, David is even more of an outsider. And the gangsters are able to outgun and outspend law enforcement. It doesn’t help that David and Lindsey’s long-distance marriage is under strain. But the danger is real and growing. To save Robin, David must leave his stack of historic crimes and plunge into the savage today world of smuggling – people, drugs, and guns – in Phoenix.
Arizona’s “History Shamus” returns in South Phoenix Rules.  It’s the most gripping and personal David Mapstone Mystery yet.

About the Author

Jon Talton is the author of eight novels, including the David Mapstone mysteries as well as The Pain Nurse. He has been an editor and columnist for the Dayton Daily News, Cincinnati Enquirer, Rocky Mountain News, Charlotte Observer, and Arizona Republic. He lives in Seattle where he is economics columnist for the Seattle Times. Visit him at www.jontalton.com.
My Review
I was provided an ebook galley by Net Galley for the purpose of this review.

Another winner from Poisoned Pen Press! What an amazing story and I feel so enlightened in regard to the state of modern day Phoenix.  South Phoenix Rules presents Phoenix with a brutal realism that expertly depicts the  challenges that it faces today.  Phoenix is presented as soulless city that has been exploited during the real estate boom. However, now its reality is filled with home repossessions and lost jobs.  Talton does an amazing job of capturing the mood of the city.  And you can feel his loss as he despairs over what used to be before the carpetbaggers showed up.  In a sense it is similar to the loss of old Louisiana that James Lee Burke so eloquently portrays in the Dave Robichaux series.
I love that the main character David Mapstone is a historian with the sheriff's department in Phoenix.  What a cool job!  He gets to solve cold cases.  Love it!  David is also suffering a personal loss that is reflected in his dark moods.  His wife Lindsey has left town for a job with Homeland Security in D.C.  And she has left her sister behind with him.  It is the murder of his sister-in-law's boyfriend Jax Delgado that sets the story in motion.

And what a story it is.  In many ways the story was torn straight out of the headlines where daily we hear about the "Mexican Drug Wars" and Latino gangs in the Southwest US. And Talton proves time and time again that he knows Phoenix oh so well.  I don't want to give too much away so I'll conclude with highly recommending this wonderful Phoenix Noir crime fiction delight!

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