Shakedown Review
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Special Agent Jack Davis is in the midst of chaos. After years of living together—but alone—in the same house, his wife is divorcing him. His daughter, Wendy, is dating a fellow FBI Agent, which is the last thing Jack wants for his daughter. And, for the last few months, Jack has been plagued with uncontrollable shakes—a condition that could end his career.

Then, while Jack has him under surveillance, a major drug dealer is murdered—along with two thugs, a woman, and a little boy. Jack had almost been ready to make an arrest, but someone saved him the trouble, which makes him think that there’s a leak in the Bureau. After all, the killer seemed to know about the camera in the ceiling fan—because the killer cut the power before going in.

When his supervisor catches Jack in the throes of an all-out shaking session, Jack is put on medical leave and told not to come back until he finds out what the problem is—and he’s kicked off the drug/murder case. Not content to be shut out, Jack does his own investigating, digging up all kinds of confusing clues that lead in surprising directions, and it could very well mean that his daughter is involved.

Shakedown is a character-driven crime novel with a lot of bite. I found that I was just as interested in what was causing Jack to shake as I was in who was behind the murders and the drug ring. Though the story doesn’t necessarily move at a fast pace, neither does it plod along so slowly that it’ll bore you. I may not have rushed home every night to get back to it, but I did enjoy it.

At first, with the story’s detailed plot, everything is a bit confusing, and it seems as though none of it is related. But as the story progresses, clues fall into place, and subplots come together to make sense of the bigger plot. Mr. Goldman pulls together a nearly impossible feat; I sincerely thought that he wouldn’t be able to make sense of any of it at the end—but he did. He also ends the story with a bit of mystery, allowing readers to decide what actually happened—which, surprisingly, I liked.

Mr. Goldman is an exceptionally talented author. If you like your crime novels with a deep plot—one that makes you have to pay attention and think—he’s the author for you. Give Shakedown a try.

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