Set during cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C., Wilson’s solid debut introduces Det. Brian “Brick” Kavanagh and his partner, Ron Hayes. The two are called out in the early hours of the morning to the Tidal Basin, where they find a young woman’s naked body floating in the water. Brick knows that this murder, at the height of the D.C. tourist season, has the potential to make the powers-that-be nervous and add stress to his job. At the end of his shift, Brick stops at his favorite Irish bar, where the bartender asks him to check up on Jose Delgado, a trusted busboy who has missed several days of work. At Jose’s apartment, Brick finds the busboy murdered, as well as a possible link between Jose and the Tidal Basin victim. Mystery veterans won’t find much they haven’t seen before, though the villain’s unusual background is a plus. Wilson (the pen name for a playwright) has created a protagonist with the full complement of angst-inducing problems and an appealing white knight sense of decency. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
In Relentless, fans of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch will find a new hero in Brian Kavanagh, a detective with more brains than brawn who personifies the term 'relentless.' Throw in cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C. and you have the perfect mystery read.” — Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author
“Wilson's Relentless lives up to its title, and will keep you turning pages throughout the twisting mystery and final reveal. A gritty and engrossing tale that introduces Brick Kavanagh, a detective who’s as smart as he is battle worn, and who takes his place among the best detectives in fiction.” — Jamie Freveletti, best-selling author
“Shawn Wilson takes readers on a roller coaster ride with twists and turns and a completely unexpected final destination in Relentless.” — Matt Coyle
“Shawn Wilson’s novel, [Relentless] brings a crafty, engaging new detective to the mean streets of Washington, D.C. A relentlessly entertaining debut!” — Daniel Stashower, Edgar-winning author
"The action is top-notch ... Wilson does a good job whipping up some mysterious murders." —Booklist
“[In Relentless,] Wilson has created a protagonist with the full complement of angst-inducing problems and an appealing white knight sense of decency.” —Publishers Weekly
“Shawn Wilson's Relentless can stand on its plot alone. But it needn't do that. The characters could be working out of your very own neighborhood station. The background of this stellar novel smells of cherry blossoms in a slight spring breeze. It's well worth a read.” —BookLoons
A veteran Washington cop catches an unsavory and complex case that cuts too close to home.
Detective Brian Kavanagh, known as "Brick" because of his red hair, is called to the Tidal Basin with partner Ron Hayes to snag a floating corpse. Rather than wait for the police dive team, they hop a locked fence to retrieve the body. Later, at Boland's Mill, Brick's watering hole of choice, he confronts another problem. Crusty proprietor Eamonn Boland's not at his usual post, regaling patrons; when he finally arrives, the elderly Eamonn looks decidedly unhealthy. He's beside himself about the absence of Jose, a normally reliable busboy. Brick and Rory, Eamonn's nephew, go to Jose's apartment, where they discover his corpse, clearly a victim of murder. Brick manages to coax Jose's ginger cat, Elvis, out from under the sink, but there's no sign of the sister Jose lives with. Saddest news of all: She's the girl in the Tidal Basin. Her name is Maria Delgado, and she's from Guatemala. Brick and Ron's investigation begins with interviews of Jose and Maria's neighbors, a stereotypical array of Hispanic sex offenders, wife beaters, and gang members. The brokenhearted Eamonn, meanwhile, decides to accompany the two young victims back to Guatemala. When Brick finds evidence that Maria may be the victim of a serial killer, he gets little support at his precinct. Must he strike out on his own to find the perp?
Like her D.C. Dirty Harry, Wilson's debut novel is bluntly effective. It lacks finesse but offers pace and timeliness.