Stateline by Dave Stanton

As the detective/thriller genre goes, this was a great read. The private investigator, Dan Reno is very much in the tradition of hard drinking, smoking Bogart style with an ex-wife who still befriends him, the sexy tough guy aura that women seem to love and the ability to kick asses that male readers will appreciate. This detective also has the touch of humor that makes these books fun and a great cast of supporting characters.

Dan Reno is going to a wedding of his ex-wife’s niece in Lake Tahoe. The story is set in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee/Reno areas during the winter months. Without giving anything away, the groom and one of his best men are murdered. The groom is from a wealthy industrialist family and the patriarch hires Dan Reno to find the killer and bring him in – dead or alive.

Into this mix, Dan brings on some old high school friends. A few are ne’er do wells and another is a San Jose cop on leave. He is up against organized criminal interests involved in the drug trade and casino business. Holding up the criminal interests are a core group of bad cops and sheriff’s with a couple of good ones who are able to join forces with Dan.

The action is pretty consistent throughout the book. There are very few lulls, lots of well drawn characters and a story that keeps twisting and turning enough that the answers aren’t telegraphed. I believe this is another book that has a series around it so that if a reader likes Dan and his hi-jinks, there are more books out there to read and enjoy. I love a good detective story and this one fit the bill. It is done in the best imitation and traditions of a Dashiell Hammet. Recommend it with a solid 4 stars.

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