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Sonja Johnson? Where are you?
on December 3, 2004
This is author's second novel about Dev Shannon, the Santa Barbara based bounty hunter. But this time, some of 'ol Dev's pick up operations have been sidelined due to the unfortunate fact that somebody is trying to whack him. In fact, for about half the book, Dev is spinning his wheels to regain traction. A big chunk of his time has been eaten up dodging bullets, double checking the safety of his boat and vehicles, and sparing with the SBPD, ATF, and, of course, the know-it-all guys in the suits, the FBI. But he does get out for a couple of rough and tumble ops. One in Idaho, where he is assisted by a local "chapter" of a mysterious nationwide web of retired cops and federal agents called the Renegade Pigs. (Is there such a group? If not, it should be invented -- for laughs if for no other reason.) Another recovery operation takes place outside the country, this time in Jamaica. Dev faces down some cooly intimidating characters on their turf to make this pick up. He even gets the curse of impotence placed on him. (Doesn't work.) These two incidents will show you that bounty hunter Dev Shannon does not just recover fugitives. Also, Dev finally gets on the trail of the guys who want to kill him. The reader is also taken on a spooky hunt in the caves semi-submerged in the channel islands off Dev's home turf of Santa Barbara. If you read the first Dev Shannon novel, "Crimson Hit", you will be gratified to meet up once again with Dev's support team: his Dad "Pug", a retired SBPD cop: Cedric, the pedantic computer whiz; the stolid black guy, Iver; and Dev's best friend, Futa, his Siamese cat and boat mate, scourge of the marina wharf rats.
Bob Burton is the leading authority on bounty hunting in America. He knows more about bail recovery than anyone else in the country including that upstart publicity hound, Dog Chapman. Once again, the author paints in Tom Clancy like technical detail what bounty hunters really do against the backdrop of Elmore Leonard genre characters. The only disappointment in the book is the non-reappearance of Sonja Johnson, the Swedish chick featured in "Crimson Hit". I wonder if she's still around Santa Barbara. If so, I hope she shows up in Bob's next novel on Dev.