Officer Rod Randel’s continued exploits for the Las Vegas PD pack a serious punch in this exciting new volume.
In Frank-3 Enroute: The Last Straw, the fourth book in the rapid-fire series authored by writing partners Rod Harris and Norma Hood, the story of enigmatic Las Vegas police officer Rod Randel races ahead. The officer faces mounting threats from a Cuban cartel, the general criminal element of Las Vegas, and just plain life in general. This story packs a serious punch, with nonstop thrills and examples of exciting police work.
This installment begins with a major shakeup in the LVPD. Randel’s longtime partner, Sam Sikes, receives threats and leaves the police department in order to protect his family. The wife of a fellow officer has been kidnapped, and members of the Drug Lords are being killed left and right, with no culprit in sight. Randel is determined to solve as many crimes as possible for the sake of his city, even if it means putting himself in danger.
The volume follows a format that has become familiar in the series: each chapter is a short story of its own, featuring prostitutes and pimps, drug dealers, murderers, and other assorted thugs. The threat of the Cuban cartel lurks in each vignette, so that, though individual stories are interesting on their own, they also serve to move the overarching storyline forward.
Randel’s previously established flirtatious nature, inherent sex appeal, and sarcastic wit are all present and accounted for in The Last Straw. As with previous books in the series, his huge presence sometimes strains credulity.
In one scenario, Randel responds to a crime scene and is quickly accosted by a raucous and drunken crowd that accuses him of police brutality. He single-handedly subdues the entire crowd with some quick-thinking theatrics, saves himself and his rookie from attack, and becomes a hero to the revelers in the span of a few minutes. Such scenes are entertaining, to be sure, but may not completely smack of realism, and the narrative lacks the backstory necessary to flesh out Randel’s larger-than-life presence.
Still, the novel is a fun ride, steeped in realistic police vernacular and likely true-to-life law enforcement scenarios. The narrative has a good flow, and the balance of the big-picture story with related vignettes is achieved successfully.
Frank-3 Enroute: The Last Straw is a fast-moving police procedural featuring a main character with a giant and engaging personality. Those who liked the first three books in this series will find this installment a great companion volume.
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