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by Wallace Stroby
Minotaur Books, January 2010
304 pages
ISBN: 0312560249

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It seems like a clearcut case of a driver taking evasive to hide the contents of his vehicle during a routine traffic stop, but in this case the driver is shot by the attending officer. When Florida Deputy Sara Cross is called to the scene, the evidence supports that scenario. The fact that the cop who killed the driver is her former partner and lover, Billy Flynn, doesn't enter the equation. It isn't until later that Sara begins to have doubts about his version of events.

The victim didn't have any kind of criminal background, but there was a cache of weapons in the trunk of the car. It is assumed that he was involved in some kind of drug run. The truth of the matter is that there was also $350,000 in the car which was designated to start a new drug partnership between some Haitians and mobsters in New Jersey, and that stash is nowhere to be found. The head honcho wants the money back and hires a fifty-something hood by the name of Morgan to track it down and bring it back. Morgan had been thinking about getting out of the business due to poor health; however, he needs a lot of money to pay for treatments that will help him recover. It's an excellent twist to the narrative to see the bad guy going through his own issues.

Stroby is best known for his two earlier books set in New Jersey. He does an equally fine job of depicting the Florida setting. Although the plot is compelling, the real strength of the book lies in the characterization. Sara, in addition to being an excellent and hard working cop, is a single mom whose 6-year-old son is undergoing chemo treatments for leukemia. At the same time, she has a lot of conflicting feelings for Billy, who certainly doesn't deserve a woman of her integrity. Morgan also has unexpected depths to him. It was odd to feel sympathy for a man who is basically a killer. His deteriorating health is distressing. At times he didn't follow the script, making him a complex and enigmatic character.

Wonderful writing, excellent plot and characters it was a treat to read this book. It's nice to put yourself in the hands of someone who does it as well as Stroby does. GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER is a powerful book, and one that you shouldn't miss.

Reviewed by Maddy Van Hertbruggen, March 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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