The Only Truth That Matters
by Joan W. Hunter and Steven Cobos
Joan Hunter & Steven Cobos Books

"Body was face down when we got here. I had the boys turn him over. Ruined their shoes."

In 1944 Los Angeles, a world war is continents away, but the home front is proving pretty dangerous. Santa Monica police lieutenant Gomez is coming up on his sixtieth birthday and having to deal with bodies being carved up, Tommy guns spraying sidewalks, and murder masquerading as suicide.

Gomez still chases skirts from time to time, but he's got a wife he always comes home to. One of the movie studios relies on him to help their fixer, McDonald, keep their valuable talent out of too much trouble. Gomez has to define just how much is too much. Plus, there's a lot more on his plate. Chicago mobsters are trying to muscle in on the lucrative black market trade that Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel already oversee. Stirring the crime cauldron even more is a reputation-obsessed lowlife tagged Machine Gun Charlie and a Philippine knife fighter that's as lethal as they come.

Writers Hunter and Cobos keep their narrative escalating appropriately. As different crimes begin to intersect, multiple characters are weaved in and out while their particular fates cast revelatory shadows on the primary plot. The authors build suspense and dole out action both grisly and credible. One is never quite sure just who will and who won't make it to the next chapter. This novel is a sequel and leaves one assuming there may indeed be more to come. However, if this is the only one with which readers happen to engage, they can expect it to slap them around a bit while somehow still making them like it.

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