Bitter Legacy (Matt Royal Mysteries) by H. Terrell Griffin
Griffin’s Matt Royal novels may be the closest approximation we have today to John D. MacDonald in his pulp-fiction prime. Griffin’s characters are as stark as a man in a trench coat under a street light. They all have backstories that give them depth, and they possess that lovable quality of players in radio-era dramas with which MacDonald infused the characters in his Travis McGee series. In Griffin’s latest, the slightly over-the-top action, also characteristic of MacDonald, begins when Royal’s friend is gunned down in broad daylight by a sniper. The assassin, however, is really stalking Royal, who soon enough must contend with Glock-wielding fisherman and a particularly nasty biker gang. All this takes place in or near Sarasota, Florida, MacDonald’s adopted home town. Griffin captures the mood and tone of the McGee novels nicely, as the amiable Royal dispatches his adversaries with ?lan, eager to resume his casually hedonistic lifestyle. Good fun.