A slow journey into the heart of the story and a villain who appears out of nowhere too close to the end of the book mar an otherwise thrilling read ripped from today’s headlines. Michaels mixes humor and good old-fashioned cop drama in an endearing way, and the lead characters are multidimensional.

After his family is killed by a crack addict, police officer Tick Kelly retires to Mango Key, Fla., and starts a career as a crime novelist. But once a cop, always a cop, and Tick knows that something big is happening in the pink stucco mansion at the end of the key. When his twin brother and two female DEA agents show up on his doorstep, Tick’s suspicions are confirmed. Will they be able to prevent a major crime? (KENSINGTON, May, 352 pp., $24.00)
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Rhomylly Forbes