April 7, 2012

Blood Will Tell

In Blood and Bone, Austin S. Camacho’s fourth novel in his Hannibal Jones series, the Washington PI takes on a missing person case.

The novel is a sort of family saga. When he is hired to find, Jacob Mortimer, the estranged son of a Black millionaire Harlan and father of 18 year old Kyle, Hannibal has to work against time. Kyle needs a bone marrow that only Jacob can provide, or he will die in a few weeks. Abandoning his wife Camille and new born son 18 years ago, Jacob disappeared with a woman called Barbie and some of his father’s valuable coins.

In what starts out as a routine missing person case, Hannibal soon finds himself tangling with gangsters in New Jersey, helping solve a murder, and preventing a scheme to defraud Harlan Mortimer of some of his millions. His search for Jacob takes him from Washington DC to Baltimore, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, and finally Mexico. Along the way, he discovers a young woman in Baltimore who is also looking for Jacob. In New Jersey and Virginia, he tangles with a two mobster brothers. In Texas and Mexico, his journey ends in a confrontation with some very bad people.

Camacho opens the novel in his usual violent style, which is also the beginning of the subplot. Hannibal beats two henchmen guarding the pimp Floyd in the Tip Top club so he can negotiate the release of an 18 year whore named Jewel who wants to get out of the business. Jewel will later get the evil eye and Hannibal the silent treatment from Cindy when she sees Jewel standing in Hannibal’s kitchen.

Camacho’s inventiveness is again on display, and he doesn’t waste words on pointless descriptions. He keeps the pace moving and sustains the suspense until the very end. The subplot involving finding Jewel’s mother seems at first as though it is merely there as relief from the violent action of the main plot but Camacho skillfully weaves it into the central plot while showing the evolving relationship between Hannibal and his girl friend Cindy.

The intricate plot of Blood and Bones with the clever twists and surprise identity of the bad guys will hold your interest to the very last word. Like me, you probably will want the story to continue even as Camacho neatly wraps up all the loose e