Friday, November 7, 2014

The Widower's Two-Step

In the first book in the Tres Navarre series by Rick Riordan, Big Red Tequila, we were introduced to Jackson "Tres" Navarre, a man with a Ph.D. in english literature who has been earning his living training as a private investigator. A man who is honorable and loyal, but who occasionally skirts the letter of the law when he feels it necessary, based on his own personal code of justice. In the first story, Tres was called back to his hometown on the outskirts of San Antonio by an old girlfriend. Old friends and new enemies came into focus after many years away and Tres was able to finally deal with his father's murder, which is what had driven him away those many years ago. With some time, Tres became determined and willing to put down tentative roots and began to plan out some sort of future.

In the second novel in the series, The Widower's Two-Step, Tres is working to earn his PI license with a local investigations office. He is assigned to stake out a musician suspected of stealing a demo tape from a gifted local songstress, Miranda Daniels, who is trying to earn a record deal and make her way to Nashville. However, whenever two coins rub together, eager folks seem to bubble up out of the ooze to lay their claim. On his stake out, the musician is killed by a sniper's bullet and Tres is pulled into a battle between opposing forces looking to claim Miranda as their own. The more Tres digs into the clues, the more he learns that there is more going on than agents angling to represent some local country singer.

The protagonist in this series and his approach to dealing with whatever issues he must face reminds me of John McClane in the Die Hard movies. Like John, Tres also falls into the category of the relucant hero. Brave, witty, tenacious, charming, and clever, he is able to stay just a step or two head of those who want him out of the way. Instead of the settings draped in the trappings of the big city like Die Hard, this one is draped in sensibilities of the southwest. Rick Riordan has made me a fan of his writing and this series. I move onto the next book in this line, The Last King of Texas.