"...another irreverent, complex lawman." —Library Journal
Follow Buddy Steel on his most difficult and dangerous investigation yet as he stumbles upon corruption in his own backyard.
When San Remo County Acting Sheriff Buddy Steel is deputized by the California Coastal Commission to investigate a reclusive Russian billionaire who has repeatedly violated state law by obstructing public access to his vast beachfront property, he makes a shocking discovery. And learns that the politicos, some with a history of corruption, some just chicken, will not back up enforcement.
This makes Buddy, a former LAPD cop dragged home by his Sheriff father's ALS diagnosis to "temporarily" head the department, dig in his heels and face down the Russian's imported goon squad. It can and will get uglier.
At the same time a string of random murders in the county's normally sleepy town of Freedom, a wealthy enclave up the coast from Los Angeles, places the Sheriff's Department on high alert as it seeks to apprehend a serial killer whose crimes are so perfectly executed they leave no forensic evidence.
Buddy enlists an old adversary in his war with the Russian. She's a legal shark from L.A., a savvy negotiator—and former lover. He needs to carry this fight to court. And he needs more backup—from the Sheriff's Department staff, not the Sheriff, who resists being sidelined. Nor Freedom's mayor, Buddy's stepmother.
Unconventional and meticulously obtuse in his methodology, wild card cynic Buddy Steel barrels his way through the myriad obstacles that defy him. He may not want the job but his quest for serving the law is relentless.
Wild Card is the third in the Buddy Steel series by Hollywood ace Michael Brandman who, among his other credits, has both written New York Times bestsellers in the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone series and brought Jesse to the screen in nine films starring Tom Selleck.
In bestseller Brandman's fast and fun third Buddy Steele mystery (after 2018's One on One), the California Coastal Commission has a job for Buddy, a deputy sheriff in Freedom, a "mostly upscale residential community, second home to a number of entertainment industry and Silicon Valley luminaries" enforcing the state's oceanfront access rules. A billionaire Russian oligarch is flagrantly violating the rules by closing the public access gates to his vast beach. The platoon of armed goons guarding the gates leads Buddy to believe that they may be protecting more than just a rich man's privacy. Meanwhile, Buddy has to deal with a series of murders. As Buddy notes, "These killings represent a deadly combination of impeccable planning and ingenious execution. No pun intended." Buddy shines as an investigator, tough guy, and observer of the human condition. Readers will look forward to his further adventures, especially now that Brandman has learned to avoid the repetition that slowed the lawman's two previous outings.
The Buddy Steel series is amazing! If I can read the first chapter of a book and before I realize it I am on Chapter 25 that is a good book!
Buddy moves quickly throughout the story with wit, compassion and good detective skills!
Please write more in this series!!