The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along
with his FBI pal Harry, make McKenzie an offer he can't refuse -
no matter how hard he tries: take on the identity of a wanted
fugitive, escape to the upper reaches of Minnesota and infiltrate
a crew of armed robbers known as "The Iron Range Bandits." His
mission - help retrieve a cache of stolen weapons before they're
used to wreak havoc on the Canadian-US border.
But there are a few catches. First, the bandits aren't the hardcore
criminals they seem to be although the bent sheriff deputies
chasing them certainly are. Then there's the stripper and her
nefarious manager, the ex-soldier trying to prove he's a man,
the minor-league crime czar who uses blackmail to force McKenzie
to rob a highly guarded bank vault, and an enenigmatic thug who
finds love in all the wrong places. Not to mention the gunrunners
who pride themselves on shooting first and asking questions later.
And if that's not enough to make him wonder why he didn't stay
home with his lady-love Nina Truhler, McKenzie soon learns that
the promises of an ambitious Assistant U. S. Attorney to
the contrary, he is absolutely on his own.
ingenuity and empathy mark Edgar-winner Housewright’s 10th mystery
featuring millionaire St. Paul, Minn., ex-cop Rushmore McKenzie.
As part of an ATF operation to recover stolen guns from the
notoriously botched real-life Operation Fast and Furious, McKenzie
successfully infiltrates the inept Iron Range Bandits, made up
of an extended family that has drifted into armed robbery because
of economic hard times. The only way to discover the source of
their weapons is to plan a major heist—except that McKenzie finds
himself caring about the sad-sack family members and doesn’t want
to involve them in more criminal activity. But crooked cops and
a creepily malevolent local crime boss insist that the robbery
proceed so that they can split the loot. Tension builds as the
action accelerates. Quirkily sympathetic characters make this more
than a clever caper novel; Virgil Flowers and Lucas Davenport
no longer have northern Minnesota all to themselves."
-- Publisher's Weekly starred review
is recruited by the ATF to infiltrate a gang of gunrunners, a
plan that seems dicey to start with and positively suicidal once
he’s in too deep to extricate himself without somebody noticing.
If you took a modern-day noir and mixed it with a light comedy,
you’d get something very much like a McKenzie novel: a serious,
occasionally dark story told by an entertaining, often bemused
narrator. Housewright just throws us into the story, too, filling
us in on the background only after we’ve become convinced Rushmore
might have lost his way. An excellent but strangely underappreciated
seriously few writers who can beat David Housewright for sheer
storytelling power. His books hit the ground running and don’t
let up until the last page... if you are missing the snappiness
of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, look no further. David Housewright,
in all his Minnesota glory (and wouldn’t Spenser have enjoyed a
“Leinie” right along with Mac?) is Parker’s direct descendant.
This is another terrific story – I can’t wait for the next one."
-- Aunt Agatha's