Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Voice from the Field - Neal Griffin

First line: "Gangsters call it the blade."

Tia Suarez returns in Neal Griffin's second novel, but let me offer you a fair warning. Don't follow my lead and start this one late at night or you will be up ALL night. This was a one-sitting book for me. While I missed Griffin's debut, I had no trouble diving right into A Voice from the Field and being utterly and completely hooked.

Out on an undercover job in Milwaukee, the Newberg, Wisconsin, Tia wanders out of the visual range of her backup to collar a john. But her stroll backfires as the perp tries to grab the 5'4" Latina detective and shove her in his van. As she struggles with the large, overweight man, Tia notices another man in the van--an accomplice--and a young girl, bound and gagged. Tia verbally signals for help, but the response is slow in coming and before they arrive the accomplice drives off with the kidnap victim still in the van. Tia's only consolation is the fact that her attacker is nabbed; surely they can coax the girl's location out of him.

This reassurance is short-lived, however, when the DA claims they have no case against her attacker, a white supremacist group leader named Gunther Kane. Tia didn't identify herself and everyone is questioning whether Tia, having experienced PTSD, really saw a girl in the van, so the DA is kicking the case.

But Tia can't let the girl go. She is hearing a voice in her head telling her the girl is in trouble and needs Tia's help. So when the sheriff's department approaches the Newberg Police Department because they've long had suspicions about Kane, and Tia's run-in with him reinforced their notions, Tia becomes part of a joint effort to prove Kane is dealing in human trafficking. Little does anyone realize, they've just scratched the surface of this iceberg named Gunther Kane.

A Voice from the Field is a layered, complex, twisting story of the unbelievable depths of man's depravity. Griffin's gift for suspenseful storytelling with constant surprises will keep readers glued to the dark plot. His masterful characters, like the plot, are also layered and complex. As with an onion, Griffin peals away a layer to reveal an element of a character, only to show many more layers hiding below. Watching the evolution of the characters is as riveting as the plot.

While Tia is the leading player on Griffin's stage, his supporting cast is equally star-worthy, from her former Marine boyfriend, Connor, to her chief, Ben. Meanwhile, as empathetic a character as Tia is, Kane is equally evil and depraved. He's also smart and that makes him a terrifying antagonist in this novel.

A Voice from the Field will keep your blood pumping and your mind churning. It's dark, it's gritty and it's just plain good.

A Voice from the Field is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780765338518) from Forge and as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9781480519305), narrated by Rachel Fulginiti, from Brilliance Audio. You can find a copy at your favorite independent bookstore or any of these online retailers:

Alibris Amazon Audible
Book Depository Downpour iTunes Kobo


Malcolm Avenue Review February 16, 2016 at 10:18 AM  

Well, doggone it. I started the first in this series and for some reason just felt I had to put it down. You know me, I like dark and gritty, but something about this one just hit me wrong at the time. But now maybe I should pick up the second and it will hit me right. I did hear great things about #1, just perhaps the wrong book at the wrong time. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

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