Í have been following the writing of James Winter for a long time now. I love seeing his writing grow.
In this Nick Kepler novel he, together with his partner Elaine, investigate a local pastor who is accused of skimming the collection plate. Meanwhile, an old criminal friend wants to enlist Kepler in his company, but Kepler is not sure he wants to make a deal with the devil. When one of his operatives gets killed Nick has to think about that again, though. After all, he's really interested in seeing justice done.
What makes this one a winner is not so much the writing itself (which gets the job done but is nothing fancy) or the plot, but the fact Kepler is not a perfect person. He sleeps with a married woman, is prepared to cross several lines to do his job... It's this humanity that makes Nick so real a character and makes you want to see what happens to him.
I also liked how he employs various operatives when he needs them. Better than the standard psychotic sidekick.