H. Terrell Griffin,
Bitter Legacy
(Oceanview, 2010)

Raymond Chandler once wrote that when things slow down in your novel, bring in a man with a gun. For him, the man with a gun was metaphorical; what he meant was find a way to ramp up the tension.

For H. Terrell Griffin, however, the gun is literal. So many people pop up firing guns at each other in his novel, Bitter Legacy, that it leads you to believe that the whole population of Longboat Key, Florida, where the novel takes place, is armed and dangerous.

Here's the way it works: Matt Royal, a lawyer with a background in the military so that he knows guns and action, has been out of town on vacation. While he was away, someone tried to kill one of his best friends, and now that person or group of people is trying to kill Royal himself. He has no idea who is after him or why. In order to survive, he has to discover what's going on.

As he and his friends try to find the truth of the situation, they are drawn into a plot involving an outlaw motorcycle gang, a recusive billionaire, an old Seminole Indian in a coma in a hospital, a murdered lawyer in another town and the McGuffin, an ancient document that could shift the power and financial structure of all of south Florida.

Shootouts ensue.

Bitter Legacy is a fast-moving, action-filled novel that will keep you turning the pages.

book review by
Michael Scott Cain

5 February 2011

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