Thirty years of social work at the Silver Birch housing project in Scarborough come to an abrupt end for Tony Price after he rescues a woman and child from an armed dope fiend. Burnt out and vodka-soaked, he is forced into retirement. During the hot summer of 2016 he moves with his wife, Brenda, to historic Kingston, Ontario. Though closer to their twins who attend Queens University, Tony is bored and at loose ends. Then a homicidal madman appears in town; a sociopathic enigma who effortlessly evades capture. Tony investigates and discovers the answer may lie with their mysterious neighbor; a saintly doctor with a dark secret. Once again, he becomes the key to stopping a monster. But this time he’s not alone as he discovers his daughter, Ashley, has inherited his gift for fighting evil. A fast paced thriller from one of the most innovative indie authors writing today, featuring horror, hilarity, social work and vodka; this is the final entry in the Tony Price: Confidential trilogy.
Final book with plenty of Tony Price sarcasm and action
This book marks the third and final adventure into the world of Tony Price. Once again, Tony has the same edge and sarcasm that I’ve come to enjoy in the previous books. When offered the suggestion of moving to the burbs of Kingston he starts talking about the hostility of having to mow your lawn every day. Still, his wife Brenda convinces him to start over again in the quiet neighborhood. If that’s how the book ended, I would be fairly slack-jawed. But, in typical Richard Schwindt style, trouble starts brewing in paradise. I think that’s really the fun part of this book. You get a funny, relatable character (Tony Price) and his family and you put them in this oddly dark suburban setting. Drugs, sex parties, people beating up people. All the while Tony is trying to navigate this terrain with his wife and daughter.
If I have one complaint, it’s the pacing of the story. It seemed a little slow at the beginning when Tony was first moving into the neighborhood. Then, towards the end of the story when they are confronting the main villain, it’s really fast paced. I think the villain dies in the span of a half paragraph. Descriptions of the surroundings disappear. Other things, like potential infidelity (wife hears about nude women trying to seduce her husband), are resolved in a few lines of dialog. I know that if my significant other heard about that, it would be many more than a few sentences.
Ultimately, that’s how these books are constructed though: Fast pace, lots of action, and fun sarcasm. If you’re looking for a book with lots of resonating ambience and innuendoes about a spider web of clues… this is not your book. If you’re looking for a loud mouth detective that scrapes by during heavy action scenes, this will be your kind of book. I am a little sad to see this series end, because I would much rather have the latter than the former. (Slow mystery books with no action – No thank you!) Still, I am very glad that the author didn’t stop at just one or two books, but instead rounded out the entire trilogy. In my former book reviews I mentioned that this was a lot like Harry Dresden from The Dresden files. I think that still remains true, though without the magic. I would highly recommend this series and keep an eye out for new novels produced by Richard Schwindt.