H. Terrell Griffin begins the fourth installment in his Matt Royal Mystery Series with a bang. Literally. Laurence Wyatt is enjoying the cool Florida breeze from his balcony when a bullet travels through his skull. Just like that, Wyatt is dead.
Retired lawyer and soldier Matt Royal is completely shocked at the news of the sudden death of his dear friend Wyatt. Along with his friends Logan and Jock, Matt served with Wyatt during the war in Vietnam, forging a lifelong bond that has stayed with the men. All are present at Wyatt's funeral, but the murder seems to weigh especially heavy on the mind of Royal. Never one to shy away from a mystery, Matt vows revenge on whoever is responsible for the death of Wyatt.
Acting on a tip from a local waitress, Royal tracks down the man who shot Wyatt and discovers that the shooter was merely a pawn in a much larger game. Enlisting the help of Jock, who conveniently works for a secret government agency that is alway willing to lend resources, and Dr. Jessica Connors, an expert on WWII, Matt embarks on a transcontinental quest to serve justice to the people responsible for his friends death.
Griffin definitely knows how to draw a reader in and keep them guessing until the end. I really appreciate the way he adds bits of historical truth to serve his fiction. As in the other novels in this series, it is the fascinating protagonist, Matt Royal, who drives the drama of this story. In this novel, Royal is forced to grapple with seeking revenge and the consequences of his search for justice. Thrust into a situation of violence, Matt evaluates his own use of violence, both during the war and in his investigation.
A Florida native, Griffin gives a vivid portrayal of the Florida setting, and the people who live there. I always look forward to the little details he provides that make the people seem like those you would actually encounter on a visit to the Florida coast. The only downside to these fantastic descriptions is that the other settings and their inhabitants pale in comparison. It's not that there was anything wrong with the other locations, but I could definitely tell that, like other Florida author's(Carl Hiaasen, Jeff Lindsay, etc.), the spirit of the region is in his writing.
Wyatt's Revenge comes to a very satisfying conclusion and keeps the twists and suspense rolling until the very end. The expertly crafted characters and setting give this novel a heart that is rarely found in series mysteries. I recommend this novel for any fan of thrillers, history, and page-turning suspense.