Having enjoyed Next of Kin until way after my bedtime, I woke up the next morning and, after briefly considering Michelle Obama’s hot selling memoir, decided to continue with Buddy Lock #2. I downloaded the second in this 2-part series. The story line picks right up less than a month after the prior tale ends.
by James Tucker
2018/ 428 pages
read by Christopher Lane – 9h 24m
rating: C+: crime-thriller
While waiting for a judge’s decision on a family matter, Buddy Lock gets a phone call telling him that two bodies have been pulled out of the Atlantic off Long Island. They turned up in the catch of some fishermen. Being a homicide detective Buddy takes the case even though he is supposedly on leave. That’s the way he is.
The newly deceased are a middle-aged Asian couple, nicely dressed and wearing good jewelry including a couple of rather unusual pieces which are engraved.
Buddy’s family includes his fiancé, Mei, and Ben, the wealthy 10-year old orphan- boy in their keeping. The judge’s decision is on who gets permanent custody of Ben – the other possibility is the boy’s uncle. That story is told in Next of Kin. Even with the custody decision hanging over their heads, Buddy takes the case. Mei is not so eager.
The next thing we know, Buddy and his family are suddenly being followed and threatened by various unknown men and strange things happen at Mei’s job in an art gallery. Dangerous situations arise – like in NY traffic. And then Ward, Buddy’s wealthy but somewhat odd half-brother, shows up to help These characters were featured in the prior novel, too.
The first book in this series was terrific, but, for awhile, The Holdouts goes over the top and becomes a hard-core and sometimes rather gory thriller. At a couple points the plot takes second place to what all the three main characters go through with airplanes, guns and chases. The suspense was beautifully done in Next of Kin, but it gets too much in sequel.
After awhile, it gets interesting again and then hard-core again and so on. I’m glad I finished, but it’s mostly like a little war story in a domestic setting.