Wolfe Trap

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This book is great fun, and the perfect introduction to what I’m sure will be one terrific crime series.

Clay Wolfe (oh, what an awesome name!) Is a former Boston homicide detective, who has now moved back to his home town, the idyllic Port Essex, situated on a coastal bay opening into the Atlantic Ocean, Maine. Clay has now hung out his shingle as a P.I and in this, the first of a new series, Clay battles an evil empire ruled by drug kingpins who are smuggling fentanyl-laced heroin into New England in, of all things, lobster traps.

It’s Paradise meets Dante’s inferno (an inside joke that will be clear if you read the book), as Clay stumbles head-first into the seamy underbelly of the modern-day drug crisis – drugs which are cheaply manufactured by big-Pharma, ensured a starring role in generations of misery through a devils handshake with the Medical industry and their proliferation of opioid prescriptions that cannot help by guarantee wave after wave of fresh addiction.

(We see the addiction crisis from several angles, and through several characters as we experience their tragedies first-hand, knitting into a theme that is compelling, tragic and timely).

Part James Bond and part Jesse Stone, Clay himself is a marvelous character – a tough but ultimately tender-hearted hero, who loves his brown liquor (more than a little bit too much) and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. In a lovely quirk, Clay is also quite a dandy, typically well-groomed and prone to wearing outfits like tan slacks and turquoise button-downs, even to his encounters with the deadliest of assassins (and not unsurprisingly then, finding himself “grimacing at the mess he was making of his clothes”).

No hero is complete without a surrounding team to have his back, and Clay’s hands-on helpers are no exception . As the plot builds we find he has unwittingly assembled around him a unique and colorful medley of (mostly) somewhat unlikely crime-fighting partners, including (in no particular order):

  • Westy, an old buddy of Clays, an ex Navy SEAL (who is one scary and Uber-capable dude).
  • Baylee, Clay’s lovely receptionist, a survivor of domestic abuse who longs to be a P.I herself.
  • Marie Clotier, a tough-as-nails female reporter, who will follow a story anywhere.
  • Joe Murphy a spritely grizzled alcoholic who spends his days in various seedy bars. Murph serves as the nerve center of the Port Essex underground.
  • Gene, or “Grandpops”, Clays elderly grandfather, a retired lawyer who is not afraid to tote a rifle and come along for the ride.

With plenty of twists and turns, and plenty of action, readers of crime and fast-paced action- thrillers will love this book. I can’t wait to read more of this series!

A big thank you to the author, Matt Cost, for an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts shared are my own.


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