Capra Press, May 2003, 25.95, 330 pp.
Eight months ago, near San Miguel Island off the coast of California, Jimmy Tien and his seven month pregnant girlfriend Wen are on their boat when something causes it to disappear. Eight months later, a fishing trawler using nets finds the Harmony and scuba divers searching the boat underwater conclude it met with an accident. Jimmy's father, native born Vietnamese Vinh Tran Tien, is not satisfied with the verdict and hires La Conchita private detective Wil Hardesty to investigate the matter.
Wil's client thinks his rich brother, who made his money on the wrong side of the law, is responsible for his son's death. Two ATF agents who claim that Jimmy was working undercover for them to bring his uncle down contact Hardesty. Mia, Vinh's daughter, goes to work for her uncle and the next thing Wil knows is that his client is in jail for the murder of his brother. Hardesty, who believes in his client's innocence, intends to clear his name by finding out the identity of the real killer.
It is so good to see the return of Wil Hardesty, a private detective who has what it takes to get the job done. Shamus Award winner Richard Barre is in fine form as he spins a tale of treachery, double-crosses and the familial ties that bind no matter how much we wish they didn't. The lyrical prose, the fast paced intricate story line, and the believable characters all contribute into making BURNING MOON into one of the best crime thriller of the year.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner