Review: Former marine Mac McClellan is considering becoming a private investigator in his Florida panhandle home town of St. George, following in the footsteps of an old Navy buddy of his father's, former Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department officer Frank Hightower. And he may already have his first case, in Deadly Ruse, the second mystery in this series by E. Michael Helms.
Mac and his lady love Kate Bell were leaving a theatre when she almost fainted. She had just seen her old boyfriend, Wes, who supposedly had died in a boating accident over twelve years ago. Though he has his doubts about who she saw, he agrees to look into it. One of his first clues sends him to a Texas orphanage, where he receives surprising information about Wes, the first piece of a puzzle that becomes increasingly complex the more he uncovers. Traveling to Georgia and then back to Florida, he continues to pick up pieces, but nothing seems to fit. Until he is led to the Palmetto Royal Casino near St. George. The casino is a front for criminal activities and he knows he's getting close when he was shot and almost killed.
It's always interesting to follow along with a character that is starting a new career. Though Mac's marine-developed instincts serve him well, there is still a lot to learn along the way. And he realizes early on he doesn't really know his girlfriend as well as he thought he did. The characters are interesting and the plot moves along quickly, leading to an explosive ending that comes as a surprise. Overall, a solid entry in this series, which began with Deadly Catch, also reviewed.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Deadly Ruse.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided a copy of Deadly Ruse for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), November 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616148676; ISBN-10: 1616148675
Location(s) referenced in Deadly Ruse: Florida
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Deadly Ruse by E. Michael Helms — A Mac McClellan Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: November 2013
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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