On balance, retired trial lawyer turned-beach bum Matt Royal is a pretty laid-back fellow. But when Laurence Wyatt, one of Matt's best friends, is murdered, Matt trades in his easygoing ways for a hard-hitting quest for revenge. Matt knows the Longboat Key police will do their job in investigating. But for Matt, finding Wyatt's killer isn't a job; it's personal. Determined to do whatever it takes to solve Wyatt's murder, Matt takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a clandestine investigation. Soon, Matt finds himself in hot pursuit of a cadre of remorseless criminals and trained killers, but the tables turn and Matt becomes the pursued. Faced with mounting danger, Matt calls for backup from his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton. Matt Royal would go to the ends of the earth to exact revenge for Wyatt's murder, but will he go outside the law?Expect the unexpected in this wild and dangerous ride from Longboat Key, Florida, to Frankfurt, Germany, because hell hath no fury like Matt Royal scorned.
Matt Royal displays an amusing gift for understatement whether intended by the author or not in Griffin's fourth mystery to feature the retired trial lawyer and Vietnam vet who makes Florida's Longboat Key his home (after 2008's Blood Island). When the book's love interest asks Royal what's going on after his car has been firebombed and, in another violent incident, shots fired at him, Royal responds, "I'm not sure. Someone's trying to kill me, I think." Someone is indeed trying to stop Royal from pursuing the hit man who blew out the brains of a close friend, history professor Laurence Wyatt. Wyatt and a fellow Florida academic, who was gunned down on the same day, had been researching the Nazis and Vichy France. Amid the predictable shootouts and hostage takings, readers should be prepared for some awkward prose (e.g., "The death of a friend impales you with a barbed javelin of despair").