Hot Shot: A Solomon King Mystery
by L. Wayne Daye

"'You’re right,' said Stroud. 'The stuff that killed this guy is high grade stuff. Heroin like this could kill a horse.'"

This contemporary crime thriller set in Durham, North Carolina, features police detective Solomon King. His intimidating size is only matched by his impressive brain. Having recently lost his wife, he's a bit at sea emotionally. However, a string of deaths pulls him back into the job he does particularly well—catching bad guys. As he crunches his omnipresent cigars and continues to do things his way, he gets pulled deeper and deeper into a series of heinous crimes.

Initially, Solomon is attached to the overdose of a junkie purely by chance. But as one doper's death is followed by another and another, Solomon's boss decides that the independently oriented sleuth should be connected to a task force put together to solve what's become not just multiple overdose deaths but probably the work of a serial killer. Plus, he's given a partner who happens to be an attractive female with designs on becoming more than just a city detective. She's already the lead on what looks like multiple rapes committed by the same man. But she jumps at the chance to work with and learn from the wily Solomon.

Although some additional editing would help the narrative flow more smoothly, this book is still an entertaining addition to the genre. Daye is a good storyteller who fills his tale with numerous insights into police procedures and the give-and-take of office politics that sometimes get in the way of efficient operations. He's also quite detailed about heroin addiction and the hideous effects on those who partake of it. His explicit depictions of addicts' use of the drug lend authenticity to this gritty tale.

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