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Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption by Robert Fate-Reviewed by Jan Evan Whitford
If you’re looking for a hardboiled mystery with colorful characters that captivate you right away, non-stop thrills, plenty of old-fashioned violence, and a refreshing touch of nostalgia—this is the book for you. Kristin, our protagonist, is an attractive, no-nonsense, triple pistol-packing PI. She’s no stranger to a blackjack, either. Not only that, but she secrets a couple of backup knives in her boots. Toss in some classic cars that include a primer gray ’51 Merc—and you’re ready to rock n’ roll!
Baby Shark is Kristin’s nickname—owing to her legendary skills with a pool cue. I didn’t find this out until three-quarters of the way though the book, but since High Plains Redemption is the third of a series, I probably should’ve read them in order. Anyway, along with Otis, her burly partner, Kristin is hired to deliver and exchange ransom money for a mysterious and gorgeous girlfriend of a notorious Oklahoma bootlegger. However, the process isn’t so simple and the author keeps us anxiously turning pages with a fat-pace, serpentine plot peppered with plenty of violence. And when Kristin’s partner ends up in a hospital in critical condition, she goes after the perps with a vengeance—never mind the odds.
Robert Fate is the author’s pen name and he’s has a colorful past, which includes being a student in Paris, an ex-Marine, oilfield roughneck in Oklahoma, TV cameraman, fashion model, sales executive, chef, wannabe playwright, airbrush artist, soap opera script writer, producer of an indy film, plus an Academy Award Winner as a special effects technician. And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s a pretty damn good mystery writer. Sure, the plot and characters of High Plains Redemption were totally engaging, but I was particularly impressed with the author’s snappy, give-and-take dialogue, which is so essential to a good hardboiled mystery. The dialogue meshes perfectly with his precise descriptions and ability to speak volumes with few words; sentences like: “he was handsome, but not as good-looking as he thought he was.” And the icing on the cake? That’d be the nostalgic background, laced with scenes set around the “Friday Night Fights”, Route 66, Teresa Brewer, Frankie Laine, and an old windmill with one of those cement tanks. I remember them well.
Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews. Buy this book on Amazon.com, or from the publisher Capital Crime Press. www.capitalcrimepress.com