by Bruce TierneyApril, 2005
Crime wave in Miami
James O. Born's first novel, Walking Money, was an instant success and a fine read as well. Now Born is back with Shock Wave, his second book featuring Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Bill Tasker. Despite heavy post-9/11 pressures toward cooperation, interagency collaboration on cases is often something to be endured, not relished. When Tasker's agency (FDLE) is called upon to investigate the illicit sale of a misplaced Stinger missile, assistance will be required from both ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and the FBI. The ATF contact is a well-developed (and more than a bit flirtatious) redhead by the name of Camy Parks, so there are no complaints to be lodged on that count. The FBI agent, however, is a pseudo-hip, urban-slang slinger by the name of Jimmy Lail who's instantly annoying to Tasker. Almost immediately the operation goes awry, and the wrong person, one Daniel Wells, is incarcerated for the crime. Tasker intercedes on Wells' behalf, securing his release from jail, only to find out that Wells has connections to one or more hate groups, and that he has been experimenting with dangerous explosives in his garage. Wells, as you might imagine, has made himself very scarce since his fortuitous release from jail. And, if things go his way, he intends to use his free time to create an explosion the likes of which Miami has never seen. Shock Wave is a first-rate sequel to Walking Money; it is crisply paced, credible and original, with characters you will want to spend time getting to know.