In this straightforward tale we meet Roscoe Brinker, ex-INS agent turned PI, who quit that job after he was shot. Brinker is hired find out who killed the wife of Moe Crain, a celebrity car salesman. She seems like such a likable character it is hard to believe anyone would want to kill her. During his investigations Brinker finds links between the corrupt INS agent who might have been involved in getting him shot and the Crain case. Aiding him is a Mexican criminal who is instrumental in solving the case in the end.
In a subplot we follow his troubles with his girlfriend Dolores, a TV reporter, who gets offered a job in New York. Something Brinker doesn’t like very much since that’s a long way from his Tucson home.
Brinker is a likable, very human character and by no means a superhero. In fact, he gets beaten up by bad guys and doesn’t take down any without help. That made some parts, especially the ending a bit unsatisfying for me. Also, at times the investigation seemed a bit slow. There just weren’t that many exciting revelations or feelings of danger along the way. A nice story, but no thriller. The location of the story is interesting however and Brinker seems like a good guy to share a beer with, so I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing Choke Point to see if James’ plotting gets a bit more exciting and see how Brinker’s life moves on.