Wolfe Trap (A Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Mystery)


Clay Wolfe is a former Boston homicide detective who has returned to his hometown of Port Essex, Maine. Life as a private investigator in a small town is certainly less stressful, but real life intrudes into Clay’s idyllic world when he is hired by Crystal Landry to find the culprit who sold the tainted heroin that her daughter inadvertently used to poison her own infant. Clay is a classic gumshoe, except instead of smoky alleys, his element is a bright, sunny fishing village that doubles as a summer retreat to the wealthy. As he criss-crosses Port Essex looking for answers, he gathers his network of associates: his receptionist Baylee, his best friend and former Navy SEAL, Weston, journalist friend Marie, and the friendly old town drunk, Joe Murphy. The prey that Clay is seeking may draw the attention of even bigger predators. Does justice for Crystal’s baby granddaughter merit the danger to Clay and his friends?

Matt Cost introduces his detective series with smooth and easy pacing that draws readers into the pretty and predictable life of Port Essex. Once the bait is taken, he reels one in with the building suspense and tension. It actually feels as if the story is growing in size, like a shark swimming into view. Danger replaces the easy pace with a heart-thumping urgency. The mystery aspect doesn’t run deep because the multiple perspectives include some of those that are working against Clay. However, this approach brings the characters into closer focus and allows bonding with key players. It all comes to an explosive showdown that will have readers cheering for the good guys. Well played!

Joan Lai