Thursday, July 30, 2015

High Country Nocturne: A David Mapstone Mystery (David Mapstone Mystery #8) by Jon Talton

A cache of diamonds is stolen in Phoenix. The prime suspect is former Maricopa County Sheriff Mike Peralta, now a private investigator. Disappearing into Arizona’s mountainous High Country, Peralta leaves his business partner and longtime friend David Mapstone with a stark choice. He can cooperate with the FBI, or strike out on his own to find Peralta and what really happened.

Mapstone knows he can count on his wife Lindsey, one of the top “good hackers” in law enforcement. But what if they’ve both been betrayed? Mapstone is tested further when the new sheriff wants him back as a deputy, putting to use his historian’s expertise to solve a very special cold case. The stakes turn deadly when David and Lindsey are stalked by a trained killer whose specialty is “suiciding” her targets.

In depressed, post-recession Phoenix, every certainty has become scrambled, from the short hustle of the powerful real-estate industry to the loyalties Mapstone once took for granted. Could Peralta really be a jewel thief or worse? The deeper Mapstone digs into the world of sun-baked hustlers, corrupt cops, moneyed retirees, and mobsters, the more things are not what they seem. Ultimately, Mapstone must risk everything to find the truth.
High Country Nocturne is an ambitious, searing, and gritty novel, with a fast-paced story as hard-edged as the stolen diamonds themselves.

 An intriguing story from the start. The whole of chapter one reads “In the end, the truth was almost beside the point”. This book is about the 9th in a series about private investigator David Mapstone. Mapstone is a history major/former sheriff who has to figure out what is going on when it seems his partner shot a guard and stole some diamonds. 

The story is not only a whodunit but a “what really happened” mystery (hence the first chapter). The list of possible bad characters not only include his possible rogue partner but also the FBI, a random hit woman, and his girlfriend. The character’s (and by some extent, the author himself) love of Phoenix, Arizona is evident in the rich descriptions throughout the book.

 Not having read any books prior to this one, I’m not sure if the love expressed for what was Arizona before people and housing developments moved in is as evident in his other books. The various angles of the story coupled with such detailed descriptions of the city makes for a great story overall.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Roberta

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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