In the dusty little Central California city of Stevinson, a matador enters a bullfight arena to face twelve hundred pounds of muscle and fury. He engages the bull and leads it through his cape with grace and flair until his legs and arms go numb: he’s been drugged. When his paralyzed arms drop the cape, the bull rams a horn into his liver and that’s it for the matador.
The killer didn’t mean for the man to die, but oh well. He wasn’t about to go to jail for it, though, so he tracks down the guy he paid to give the matador the spiked water, bashes him with a piece of rebar, and dumps him into a ditch. No witness, no jail. Imagine his surprise when his picture shows up in the paper later that week. Now he’s gotta kill someone else.
Instead of attending the bullfight, the mayor of Stevinson, Manny Dutra, is negotiating with pot growers who want to grow their quasi-legal product in his city. He squeezes three hundred grand out of them, a nice “commission,” but he’s gotta get the ultra conservative and religious city council to approve the deal. He’ll get it done because he knows who’s been doing what behind closed doors.
When one of the council figures out what he’s up to, Manny kills her to save the deal. As the week progresses, the cops are all over him and his constituents, hardworking religious Portuguese farmers and dairymen, are on his case because they can’t believe he wants to let someone grow drugs in their town. If he can just hold things together for six days he can collect his graft and split.
Too bad for Manny and the matador’s killer, Detective Grant Starr is asked to assist the Sheriff’s Department solve the murders.
Can Grant, his hot girlfriend and fellow detective Amber Whitehall, friend Detective Ralph Bensen, and Detective John McKay of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department bring the killers to justice?
In his follow-up to the thrilling THE MIGHTY T, Powers takes his readers for a wild ride inside the close-knit Central California Portuguese community, with their religious festivals and bloodless bullfights. A world rich in tradition. DEATH OF A MATADOR.
A thriller sure to please fans of John Sandford, Michael Connelly, and Nelson Demille. This is the second Grant Starr novel.