Big City Heat: David Burnsworth
Sometimes life gets away from us all and our pasts remain and in the present. No matter how hard we try to avoid encounters and trouble sometimes it just seems to find us. Ex-Marine Brack Pelton is impetuous, smart, astute and at times reckless but he’s one man you don’t want to cross. A lowcountry bar owner who receives a phone call at 3 in the morning form his friend Mutt, who is upset and panicked because his girlfriend Cassie’s sister is missing placing Cassie in danger. But, things turn sour really fast as each step of the way as Brack tries to get the man who has Regan Cassie’s missing sister other lives including his are in danger. With the aid of Brother Thomas, Mutt, and now Darcy Wells investigative news correspondent and his old girlfriend, Brack forges ahead hoping to take down Kelvin Vito the man who runs drugs, women and more in this town. Darcy although engaged to someone named Justin you can tell that there are still sparks flying when around Brack. Each time Brack goes into a bar and faces the bikers that are owned by Vito other people pay the price, some are badly injured and Detective Nichols of the police department gives him an open invitation to leave town. But, you know Brack when he starts a job and has a goal there is no way he will quit before he takes down Vito and anyone else that stands in his way. Tara is the bartender at Mutt’s bar and teaches marshal arts, as well as Shana a bartender at the Lion’s Den, both have assets that he needs and one, Tara would like to get her assets into Brack. Teaming up with Brack on a stakeout to try and take down some of Vito’s men, lives are in danger, shots are fired and Tara was seriously shaken up. Atlanta is the setting and the underworld is up in arms as innocent people are dying. When things heat up too much Vito goes after Cassie who owns her own establishment and tortures her and kills her friend. Brack might be one target but before all the victims are in place there will be more bloodshed but first the deadliest criminal in town calls Brack to meet up with him and the end result is more violence, more deaths and killing this kingpin only makes Vito stronger. Using them as targets, never really at times having a workable plan he often sets up situations that are untenable and the end result irritates Detective Nichols even more. But, Darcy has her own sources and provides leads that pan out but what Brack does with them does not always follow any normal protocol. Going after Cassie was a deadly mistake but trying to take out Vito’s second in command caused other deaths and Brack although he feels responsible shows little or no remorse for his actions. Anger wins out and fear takes a back seat as walking away is not an option after serving in Afghanistan where his reckless behavior making it through because the military commanders wrongly assessed his suicidal behavior or tendencies as good leadership. When confronting Regan, the missing girl in question her response was not at all that untypical of a drug user and someone that needed a good fix and a man to supply her with more than just that. Not only that she seemed bound to him and was running some of his houses.
Things spiral out of control each time Brack, Mutt and Darcy go after Vito or anyone else that has threatened them. Every bar scene winds up with dead bodies, arrests and Brack detained or in custody a Detective Nichols at times feels pulled to both sides of the law and often looks the other way with Brack in order to make serious arrests. But, Brack often does not plan his strategies; goes in cold and the end result will take the lives of those he was trying to protect. Cassie decides to take matters into her own hands and signs out of the hospital as the team is trying to free her sister but does Regan want her freedom or does she like the life that Vito has created for her? Can she be trusted and when Brack and Mutt really reflect was she worth all of this trouble and danger?
Xavier Kualas is dangerous and runs the underworld dealing in selling drugs, women and much more. When he calls Brack for a face-to-face meeting planning to help him take down Vito he thought it would work until it didn’t. Nichols and his minions showed up and Kualas was taken down but not all of his henchman were captured and as a result Vito’s empire get stronger and bigger. Brack gets set up by some people that he thought he could trust, winds up too many times as a casualty but when Cassie goes missing and Regan meets out her own justice why continue on? This is a book about loyalties, trust, deceits, lies, betrayals and one man who will not give up until what he sets out to do is completed. Mutt is his friend and winds up seriously injured during one of the takedowns and others get hurt too. Reverends Thomas and Cleophus are there for support but the police seem helpless at times and cannot figure out how Vito keeps getting away.
When Brack finally puts the pieces together and Mutt is in the hospital with a serious injury and he comes face to face with Regan and learns the honest truth about her what happens will surprise readers, terrify Darcy, cause Tara serious doubts about what she has been doing as Regan and her minions are after the elephants at the Preserve where Tara works during the day. The story deals with drugs, selling women, cars exploding, money laundering and selling and killing elephants for their tusks. Regan won’t give up until she gets the shipment of tusks at any cost. Throughout the story you will meet Mr. Grumpy the elephant that will endear you and love as a great character who proves that animals sense when humans care about them and what he does when Brack is in trouble and faces certain death will raise you off your chair when reading the book with a loud high five!
The ending will shock readers as Darcy faces off with a decision about Justin, his car used in a chase and the ending leaving one dangerous man in custody and another on the loose. What’s next for Brack? Will Mutt survive? Will Darcy wake up and realize that Brack is the right one for her? Will he return to Charleston and not come back to Atlanta? Will the one loose end go after them? Which kingpin will rule the underworld next? Find out when author David Burnsworth pens his next novel and Brack turns up the BIG CITY HEAT! Characters that are believable and a plot that is right out of a made for television movie and the news. BIG CITY HEAT! Is it the weather we are concerned about or is it CRIME?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine