Friday, November 14, 2014

The Last King of Texas

The third novel in Rick Riordan's Tres Navarre series is entitled The Last King of Texas. The previous novels, Big Red Tequila and The Widower's Two-Step are not necessarily required reading, however they do serve to introduce in more detail the people in the life of the protagonist, Tres Navarre. Tres has moved back to the outskirts of San Antonio after escaping to California after his father was murdered. Tres is a bit of a Renaissance man in that he is a man of letters, having earned his Ph.D. in literature at Berkley. However, as we meet him, he is content to make his living as a private investigator. Tres has a penchant for allowing injustices that he witnesses to get under his skin. Whether or not he has a personal stake in a given situation, he takes on the problems of others. Often he tends to leap before he looks, but he also has a reflective mentality that allows him to understand correlations and connections between seemingly disparate clues.

In this story an english professor at UTSA is murdered. The agency that Tres works for is hired to investigate and work alongside the local police. Through connections of Tres' mother, Tres is interviewed to fill the position of the recently deceased man. It doesn't take long for Tres to become involved in the investigation at a deep level - that occurred the moment that a pipe bomb delivered to the dead professor's office went off just as Tres was moving in. Tres has much to wade through trying to understand who the guilty party is among the different folks who seem to have motive. Drug traffickers, spurned lovers, goons with no morals, and carnies (yes carnies) all seem to focus their attention on ridding themselves of the unrelenting presence of one Tres Navarre.

An intriguing, fast moving tale with just enough humanity, humor, and sweetness to make the story relatable and personal. This is a well done series thus far and I now move onto the fourth book, The Devil Went Down to Austin.