Sunday, February 12, 2017

Grit, Violence, Dark Losses - and Somehow, Love, in David Putnam's Fourth, THE VANQUISHED

Placing his Bruno Johnson series within a network of friends who've worked the worst police beats in Southern California guarantees that David Putnam's suspense fiction will continue dark and violent. The third in the series, The Squandered, was a really good read, with plenty of unexpected twists. Brotherly friendships and the intensity of police work made the novel unusual and I liked it.

Number four in the series, THE VANQUISHED, hits a lot of the same buttons. But this time Bruno and his wife Marie find their Costa Rica haven -- where they are hiding the abused kids they've rescued -- is under threat from old enemies in an outlaw motorcycle gang. With the kids at risk, Bruno charges back to California to straighten things out. Soon Marie's at his side.

And that's the one drawback of this one ... the Bruno/Marie pairing doesn't leave much room for the police brotherhood that I liked in The Squandered. But there's no question that THE VANQUISHED is a page-turner, jammed with threat and danger.

Putnam has the solid investigative past himself to make the twists in his book authentic, and that's good. But I missed the redemptive notes of the earlier book. If you pick up THE VANQUISHED, let me know what you think. A must-own for those who especially appreciate the wild motorcycle world, too. Published by Oceanview.

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