Polis Books, $25.99, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-943818-93-8
Three years ago, a new writing talent appeared and lit up the hard-boiled crime scene like machine-gun fire on a moonless night. The author’s name was Rob Hart, and his character, Ash McKenna, is a tough guy who—like Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe—gives bad-assiveness a good name. Happily, he’s now back in his fifth adventure.
Potter’s Field, by Rob Hart, finds Ash coming back to New York’s Staten Island from a year on the road, determined to face the problems that drove him away. He’s decided to turn his life around . . . less thuggery, more proper behavior . . . and a real career. Ash wants to keep doing what he’s best at doing, by becoming a licensed private investigator. But within moments of getting off the plane and clearing customs, Ginny Tonic, the drag queen and crime lord who once employed Ash, but later tried to have him killed, sends one of her thugs to ask for an interview. It seems Ginny has a couple of problems. One of her newest, and most favored, drag queen soldiers has gone missing and is either dead or sucked into the growing heroin scene on Staten Island . . . the city’s fifth borough, the place where Ash grew up, and where his mother still lives. Ginny’s willing to pay $10,000, enough to get Ash back on his feet. He’s sympathetic to the idea of finding a lost kid and helping a grieving family appeals to his sense of gallantry. Ash takes the job, but soon learns he’s betting with his life, and that there’s a lot more in play than he’s been told.
The Ash McKenna series just gets better and better, as he fights his way through the most life-threatening mystery yet . . . and the greatest danger of all may be from his own past! An edge of the seat thriller from start to finish and a perfect late summer or early fall read!