Members of the Philadelphia PD tangle with ruthless drug and human sex traffickers in bestseller Griffin’s explosive 11th Badge of Honor novel, this one, like 2010’s The Vigilantes, coauthored with son Butterworth. Homicide sergeant Matt Payne, dubbed the “Wyatt Earp of the Main Line” for a wild shoot-out in the Florida Keys, is on a mandated vacation when Maggie McCain, chief administrator of Mary’s House, a charity aiding abused or neglected children, is forced to go into hiding, carrying with her a possible key to busting the traffickers. Recalled to duty, Payne teams with Sgt. James Byrth of the Texas Rangers, and tries to locate Maggie. Meanwhile, Maggie’s risky decision to try to turn the tables on the vicious thugs hunting her has dire consequences. The authors use equally strong primary colors to paint both the bad guys and the heroes such as Payne and Byrth. Agent: Robert Youdelman, Rember & Curtis. (Aug.)
W.E.B. Griffin is the best chronicler of the U.S. military ever to put pen to paper—and rates among the best storytellers in any genre.”—The Phoenix Gazette
Praise for the Badge of Honor novels, W.E.B. Griffin’s electrifying epic series of a big-city police force…
“DAMN EFFECTIVE…He captivates you with characters the way few authors can.”—Tom Clancy
“TOUGH, AUTHENTIC…POLICE DRAMA AT ITS BEST…Readers will feel as if they’re part of the investigation, and the true-to-life characters will soon feel like old friends. Excellent reading.”—Dale Brown
“COLORFUL…GRITTY…TENSE.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Mainline Philadelphia homicide detective Matt Payne battles mobsters in Griffin's (The Vigilantes, 2010, etc.) latest book in his Badge of Honor series. Krystal Gonzalez takes two to the head in the Society Hill townhouse of Maggie McMain. McCain's missing, but she's not a suspect. It's feared the culprit who murdered Gonzalez has kidnapped or killed McCain. McCain, who runs Mary's House, a shelter for foster children, is the daughter of a Philadelphia mover-and-shaker, and Gonzalez, once a client of Mary's House, may have become entangled in the tentacles of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel. Authorities know too that elements of the Russian mob, busy worming its way into Philadelphia politics via pay-offs from Cayman Island bank accounts, are allying with the cartel. Griffin offers the usual good guys of movie star proportions--"six feet tall, a lithely muscled 170 pounds...thick dark hair...neat and short." Nearly everyone on the side of the angels is wealthy or connected to wealth or to each other. There are down-to-the-bullets-in-the-magazine descriptions of weapons--the trusty Colt .45 1911A is a favorite--as well as techno-gear from throwaway cellphones to anonymous email servers. Griffin serves up enough exposition about geographical locales and amenities, exotic and prosaic, to provide useful travel guides. Much of the narrative could be a CliffNotes synopsis of the corruption of legitimate processes--EB-5 visas for moneyed immigrants, international banking, capital investment funds--by drug and prostitution profits. Rich immigrants and drug lords manipulate; naive girls and runaway teens end up dead and disappeared into El Pozolero's bath of sodium hydroxide lye beads; and McCain goes to ground in a posh Virgin Islands resort. All but the last few chapters are a set-up for the quick but open-ended conclusion where Payne lets bullets fly and bad guys die. Formulaic, but great good fun for genre fans.