Jack-of-all-trades Virgil Cain gets tangled up in an old crime surfacing from the waters of the Hudson River, in this second novel in a rip-roaring series that started with Red Means Run.
Trouble always finds Virgil Cain. Brad smith’s second Virgil Cain novel is fast, funny country-noir action at its best.
For Virgil Cain, a day of fishing on the Hudson River yields more than he bargained for when, while pulling up anchor, he hooks on to a mysterious steel cylinder. As word of Virgil’s strange catch spreads around the local marina, it draws the attention of a crooked city cop, who seizes both the cylinder and Virgil’s boat. Soon, an old drug deal gone sour surfaces, and to get to the bottom of it—and to get his boat back—Virgil teams up with a captivating single mom, Dusty, who knows far too much about the cylinder and the pure cocaine it contains. The landscape is soon cluttered with the dealer who claims ownership of the cylinder, his murderous sidekick, and a wild card in the form of a crazy Russian cowboy. Virgil and Dusty find themselves trapped in the middle and desperate for a way out.
In Smith's outstanding sequel to Red Means Run, upstate New York farmer Virgil Cain lands a heavy metal cylinder while fishing in the Hudson. He secures the cylinder in his boat, which he puts on his trailer, then has lunch at the local roadhouse. After lunch, Virgil finds a stranger hitching the boat trailer to an SUV. When Virgil protests, the man flashes a gold detective badge and identifies himself as "Albany police." When Virgil further protests, the man sticks a gun in his face and drives off in the SUV with the boat in tow. While Virgil wants nothing more than to get his boat back, others have more interest in the possibly cocaine-filled cylinder, including a Russian drug dealer and the guy who jettisoned the cylinder in the river as the police closed in. Quirky, believable characters headed by laconic, strong-willed Virgil engage in a battle of wits, violence, and foolery that rivals Elmore Leonard at his best.