Capital Kill is a classic example of an author “writing what he knows.” Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the courts of the Washington D.C. and a former lawyer with the US Air Force’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent.
His protagonist, Jeff Trask, shares the same background. In the book we also get to meet Lynn, an Air Force OSI Special Agent.
This is the first in a series based on Jeff Trask and it is labelled as “crime drama.” It is. But it is also a delightful mix of police procedural and legal courtroom thriller. I loved it!
This reader has nearly 30 years of experience of the law both as a former police officer and as trial counsel. This book made me feel like I was part of a major investigation all over again. The author’s writing style drew me in so closely that I felt I was there as part of the team but a mere observer as opposed to an actor.
The plot involves Jamaican gangs, cocaine, murder and mayhem set in and around Washington DC. The characters are well developed and the dialogue realistic. There is nothing about the book that jarred with me.
The book even contains valuable lessons for any prosecutor in real life. Witness Bob Lassiter, Trask’s boss, telling him “… what you just did-clearing an innocent defendant-is even more important than convicting the guilty ones.”
There is also wonderful humour especially in the dialogue between Carter and Ramirez, two detectives. Carter is always seeking to tease Ramirez and does so on one occasion with a scathing, witty criticism of the game of soccer citing more than dubious historical sources then completing the put-down by saying, “You can see what it [football or soccer] did, for example, to Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and His Royal Highness Prince Charles.”
Capital Kill is a cerebral read. If dumbed down is your thing then read something else.
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