Onyx, August 2002, 6.99, 400 pp.
Leah Harris is a detective in the Seattle homicide unit when she catches the call about the multiple stabbing death of a young Spanish woman. When she investigates the scene, her first thought is this is a crime of passion. However, things become much more complex when a picture of her lover, narcotics detective John Darby is found there.
She immediately calls her superior officer who gets Internal Affairs involved. Sergeant Frank Milkovich immediately insinuates himself into the investigation and discover heroin behind the stove and a million dollars in cash in the closet of the dead woman's apartment.
Frank thinks they stumbled upon a cell of a Colombian drug cartel. The victim's father is persona not grata in the United States and no record of a John Darby exists. Leah and Frank realize they have muddled into something deadly that could get them killed if they are not extremely careful.
DOUBLE BLUFF is a fascinating police thriller starring two great protagonists who each deserve their own series. Michael A. Hawley gives the reader an insider's look about what confronts a police officer on a recurring basis. The story line is multi-layered so that when the reader peels one subplot off, there is something ever darker and more shocking underneath it. This crime thriller is great escapist reading.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner