Title: Misdirection by Austin Williams
The Rusty Diamond Trilogy Book One
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 268 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publicist
A street magician needs more than sleight-of-hand to survive getting embroiled in a murder case in this blistering novel of suspense, perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and George Pelecanos.
After years of chasing fame and hedonistic excess in the bright lights of Las Vegas, Rusty “The Raven” Diamond has returned home to Ocean City to piece his life back together. When he finds himself an innocent suspect in his landlord’s brutal murder, Rusty abandons all hope of maintaining a tranquil existence. Acting on impulse, he digs into the investigation just enough to anger both the police and a local drug cartel.
As the unsolved case grows more complex, claiming new victims and inciting widespread panic, Rusty feels galvanized by the adrenaline he’s been missing for too long. But his newfound excitement threatens to become an addiction, leading him headfirst into an underworld he’s been desperately trying to escape.
Austin Williams creates an unforgettable protagonist in Rusty, a flawed but relatable master of illusion in very real danger. As the suspense builds to an explosively orchestrated climax, Williams paints a riveting portrait of both a city—and a man—on the edge.
Misdirection is a superb beginning to Austin Williams’ Rusty Diamond Trilogy. This highly entertaining and brilliantly clever mystery stars a refreshingly unique protagonist whose previous career as an illusionist aids his investigation into his landlady’s murder.
Rusty Diamond has kept a low profile since his return to the Ocean City area after his wildly successful career as an illusionist in Las Vegas crashed and burned. All of that changes after he discovers the body of his elderly landlady, Thelma Garrett, and he is briefly detained as a person of interest. He is reacquainted with his old school friend Jim Biddison, now a lieutenant in the police department, but Rusty remains skeptical of the PD’s ability to investigate the crime. Although the killer is quickly arrested, Rusty’s instincts tell him there is more to the murder than meets the eye, and he cannot resist poking around to see what he can uncover.
Rusty is a very intriguing character and his previous profession adds to his overall appeal. Rusty remains an enigmatic figure since much of his past remains shrouded in mystery. The facts that are revealed give readers a good sense of his general character but it is his actions that prove most illuminating. Rusty ignores Jim’s warnings to stay out of the investigation and he jumps headfirst into situations without much thought to the consequences. He might not have clue on how to conduct an investigation, but the skills Rusty picked up as an illusionist give his crime solving abilities a much needed edge.
There is not much mystery in Misdirection, but there are unexpected twists and turns. The perpetrators are revealed early in the story and Rusty quickly uncovers the motivation for the crimes. However Rusty’s unusual investigative techniques and the innovative storyline provide a fast-paced and compelling read. Austin Williams also holds the reader’s attention by divulging fascinating bits and pieces of Rusty’s past but it is what he does not reveal that piques reader’s curiosity. The novel hurtles to a suspense-laden and action filled conclusion as Rusty rushes headlong into a dangerous situation in an effort to bring all of the guilty parties to justice.
Misdirection is an outstanding first installment in The Rusty Diamond Trilogy and I am very curious about what Austin Williams has up his sleeve for our intrepid amateur investigator in the next two novels.