US district judge Diane Manchester is eight months pregnant and presiding over the extraditon trial of a Colombian drug lord. Before she calls recess for lunch, he taunts her, almost implying that she will suffer if the verdict doesn't go his way. When she takes a break for lunch, she is abducted, quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately for her captors, Max Freeman, South Florida private investigator, is employed by her husband, Billy Manchester, a litigator with connections in law enforcement agencies and beyond. Max and Billy are very good friends, and Max is ready to do anything necessary to find her and her abductors. They are not sure if members of the drug cartel are responsible. A judge can have many enemies.
Don't Lose Her is the 7th Max Freeman mystery, but the first I have read. I was surprised I liked it so much, given that it really isn't the type of mystery I would normally choose. It tends toward the thrillerish and has a bit more action than I go for.
The story was told from different viewpoints and that is well done. Max tells of his investigation in first person narrative, but we also get the perspective of one of the kidnapping crew and the victim herself. All three of these add an emotional component. Max is very concerned about Diane and knows how his friend Billy is suffering; Diane is primarily concerned about her unborn baby and how she will be treated.
Jonathon King's books are set in South Florida. This one starts out in West Palm Beach, Florida, and ends up in the Everglades. Fortunately Max knows the Everglades well. I liked that the ending was realistic, not over the top. Some events at the end were a tad predictable, but I enjoyed the journey. I intend to try more Max Freeman novels, and especially the first one, The Blue Edge of Midnight, which won the Edgar for best first novel. However, I had no problem getting into this seventh entry in the series without having read previous books. It can easily stand alone.
Some background on the author from his website:
Edgar-award winning author Jonathon King is the creator of the Max Freeman crime series set in the Everglades and on the hard streets of urban South Florida. In his previous career as a journalist, he was a police and court reporter for 24 years with the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Philadelphia Daily News.-----------------------------
Publisher: Open Road Media, 2015
Length: 262 pages
Series: Max Freeman, #7
Setting: South Florida, Everglades
Source: Provided by the publisher for review via NetGalley