Reviewed by Cynthia Murphy for Breeni Books,
This review is from: Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption (Paperback)
Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption is the third entry in Robert Fate's Baby Shark series. However, this is the first book in the series that I've read. I certainly wasn't disappointed. High Plains Redemption is a fun, fast-paced mystery with lots of action.
Baby Shark is the nickname of Kristin Van Dijk. Kristin works as a private investigator, but she also enjoys a side career as a pool hustler. Kristin's background is traumatic. She has no biological family left. She witnessed the murder of her father and endured a brutal assault. As a result, Kristin vows to never be a victim again. This information is the key to understanding her character. Without knowing something about Kristin's background, readers would likely see her as shockingly cold. Kristin has no qualms about killing the villains (and there are plenty of villains), but her background explains her attitude.
High Plains Redemption is an action-packed mystery. Fate sets the pace with the opening chapters. Kristin and her partner, Otis, attempt to deliver ransom for Savannah Smike, a bootlegger's girlfriend. The disaster that ensues lures Kristin and Otis deeper into a turf war between two bootlegging clans. The action takes place throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Most of the mystery stems from the conflict between the Smike family and Travis Horner. Both sides are engaged in illicit activities, and Savannah is caught in the middle. Kristin and Otis know that they have been dragged into something much bigger than they originally suspected.
Horner's thugs seem to be searching for something very important throughout the book. Of course, Kristin eventually finds it, but the search drives much of the plot. I won't spoil this element of the mystery, but it does seem a bit obvious when the mystery begins to unravel. In fact, this revelation was somewhat disappointing. There was a big buildup surrounding the object, but it really doesn't factor into the novel's climax. However, it does provide a nice humorous moment.
There is a lot of carnage in this novel. High Plains Redemption is written in the style of pulp novels from the 1950s. Think of it as "Texas Noir". It is definitely a very dark novel. Kristin proves to be one tough cookie. She kills multiple men in a variety of ways. She faces numerous life or death decisions throughout the novel. Basically, she leaves a trail of death and destruction as she searches for the truth. Kristin searches for both the missing object and the men who nearly killed her and Otis. At times she seems almost too driven in her search. She takes unnecessary risks because her pride is on the line as well as her life.
High Plains Redemption is an entertaining throwback to the pulp novels of the 1950s. The characters are fascinating, and Baby Shark is an intriguing heroine. This is definitely not written for the faint of heart. The body count is rather high for just 287 pages. The action moves fast, but it is easy to follow. Robert Fate knows how to capture his readers' attention. If the other books in the series are anything like this, I'll definitely pick them up as well.