This is one of those books where all the good things are the exact same things that don't make it good. The hero is a reluctant PI with a long backstory (ex-cop, MMA fighter, teacher), a violent sidekick (US Marshal Manny) and a dry wit in the old Spenser / Cole style. Yep, it's not the most original of series. However, I really like all that tropes (my own Noah Milano is full of them) when done well. Also, there's some nice extra more original touches. The hero, Mackenzie August lives together with his dad and his on, Kix. Turns out he donated his sperm so his cop partner and his wife could conceive. When both his partner and his wife die he takes care of the kid. Sounds almost like a sitcom, right? Well that's what August's flame Veronica seems to think. Veronica is another of those tropes that is used with a nice spin. At first she seems the Susan Silverman type of fantastic, perfect girlfriend, but that's not how it turns out to be.
What about the main plot? Well that didn't engage me as much as the setting. August is hired to go undercover at a high school to unmask some drug dealers and solve some gang killings.
Basically, this is a fast-paced, easy to read tale with a nice mix of action and comedy that will appeal to any fans of Robert B. Parker, Robert Crais, Sue Grafton, David Housewright or my own stuff.