ForeWord Reviews

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Wild Laws

Foreword Review — Mar / Apr 2010

Wild Laws is the ninth thriller in Jim Michael Hansen’s acclaimed Laws series, featuring Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry. Each book stands alone, so they can be read in any order. In this offering, Coventry tangles with a diabolical killer who, after ritualistically torturing victims to death in Paris, Johannesburg, and Denver, now heads to Tokyo to commit more atrocities. He taunts Coventry with an e-mail, inviting him to follow.

How can our hero find one man in a foreign city of ten million? Simple: he agrees to fly to Tokyo, but only if the murderer promises to try to kill him once he arrives. Acting contrary to orders from his boss, unsanctioned by the Japanese authorities, Coventry risks his career and his life to solve the mystery and stop the murderer before he can strike again. Thus begins a wild ride where the fates of Kinjo, an antiquities trader; Arai, an up-and-coming musician; Teja, a model; and Rio, her long-lost sister; are intertwined with that of homicide detectives Serengeti, Joost, and Coventry as they seek to unmask the murderer. To make matters worse, Coventry falls for Sin, a lovely flight attendant, and their relationship brings her to the killer’s attention.

Hansen is a civil attorney and prolific author. His experience shines as he weaves a complex story that nevertheless rivets the reader’s attention, until the final pages where the enigmatic truth is finally revealed. The only downside is the author’s reliance on a rhythm-break technique where he pens a regular-length paragraph followed by three or four single-sentence sections. It’s a common enough method for writers to add emphasis to certain aspects of their stories, yet it is overused here.

It’s annoying.
Very, very annoying.
But forgivable.
Because the story really is that good.

Wild Laws is creative and captivating. It features bold characters, witty dialogue, exotic locations, and non-stop action. The pacing is spot-on, a solid combination of intrigue, suspense, and eroticism. A first-rate thriller, this book is damnably hard to put down. It’s a tremendous read.