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Keith White
The Missing Target
Ever since his wife disappeared four years ago, private investigator Michael Talent seems to care a lot less about his future, let alone his own personal safety. That attitude is put to the test when the detective takes on a missing person's case centering on David Clayton, a bestselling author with a questionable reputation. The investigation becomes more complicated when Peter Metternick, a formidable espionage agent, delivers a cryptic warning that trouble is on the horizon. Soon after his visit, the murders begin. At first the killings seem unrelated--until Talent discovers that the trail of David Clayton leads directly through all of the murders and back to Peter Metternick. With kidnappers threatening him to stop the investigation and Clayton's seedy associates pressuring him to continue, it soon becomes clear that finding the missing author is essential to Talent's survival. Talent must contend with an elusive psychopathic killer, vengeful drug dealers, and a beautiful woman with a mysterious past while he zeroes in on the elusive target of David Clayton.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 6.50 out of 10


White provides taut plotting and crisp dialogue as black private investigator Michael Talent is hired to investigate the disappearance of best-selling author David Clayton. San Francisco-based Talent's ability at repartee and his undemonstrative competence sustain interest. Obtrusive plot contrivances detract from the story, but the characters are well rendered and lifelike.  Readers who can keep track of the over-abundant shadowy characters will find the resolution rewarding.

Date Submitted: September 30, 2016