Title: Torn & Restored by Austin Williams
Rusty Diamond Series Book Three
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, suspense
Length: 260 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this gripping last installment of Austin Williams’ Rusty Diamond series, Rusty “The Raven” Diamond is beckoned back to Vegas to reconcile his sordid past in one final, decadent showdown—but will he make it out of Sin City alive?
When a mysterious box containing a greeting card, a sheet of textbook paper, three human teeth, and an adult index finger severed just above the knuckle arrives unannounced on Rusty “The Raven” Diamond’s doorstep, he realizes he can no longer hide on the beaches of Maryland. Someone wants Rusty to pay for what he did years before, and if Rusty is going to survive, he’ll need to take the fight Vegas.
Rusty was once the hottest act on the strip, a magician who commanded sell-out crowds for his death-defying act. But with bigger risks come bigger enemies, and it seems Rusty has made one of the most sizable the Nevada desert has to offer. A mobster-turned-politician with every resource available aims to not only close the curtain on Rusty, but make sure he pays dearly beforehand.
Rusty’s final reckoning with his past will draw him into a trap that, even at his most Houdini-esque, he may not be able to escape. Taut, fast, and gripping at every turn, Torn & Restored builds to a spectacular denouement that will leave readers buzzing for days.
Torn & Restored, the third novel in Austin Williams’ Rusty Diamond series, finds the former illusionist turned amateur sleuth returning to Las Vegas to face the final piece of his unresolved past.
While Rusty initially ignores the anonymous packages he is receiving, the contents in the latest missive are too grisly to ignore. Although he has no idea who is sending them to him or why, he knows it is finally time to return to the city where his career crashed and burned three years earlier. Once he is back in Las Vegas, Rusty reaches out to former co-worker Charlotte Rains to help him figure out the significance of the items sent to him. The information he uncovers leads him to a sketchy bar in a rundown part of town and a creepy site on the dark web, but Rusty still has no idea who lured him to back to Las Vegas.
As soon as he steps off the plane, Rusty is overwhelmed by the memories of the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of his career. Unable to forget the horrific events that preceded his hasty escape from town, he is a little off balance as he tries to make sense of the puzzling items he received in the mail. Charlotte is the only person in Vegas that Rusty implicitly trusts not to betray him and her assistance quickly proves invaluable. Despite the information she helps him uncover, Rusty remains uncertain who is masterminding the plan that forced his return to Vegas. However, he does quickly realize this person has intimate knowledge of the various acts he performed during his show at Caesar’s. Rusty also cannot help but wonder how his final gig plays into the increasingly diabolical and horrifying events that are occurring.
Rusty’s investigation takes him into some of the lesser known and seedier areas of Las Vegas. Far away from the glitz and glitter of the Strip, the homeless population is incredibly vulnerable to predators who find it easy to prey upon them without fear of reprisal. The flood tunnel system under the city is an enticing but unsafe haven for those seeking shelter. When Rusty is forced to become an active participant in the vengeful plan taking place in these tunnels, he once again relies on his skills as an illusionist to (hopefully) extricate himself from a tricky and highly dangerous situation.
The third (and perhaps final) installment in the Rusty Diamond series, Torn & Restored is a fast-paced and suspense-laden mystery. With plenty of action and unexpected twists and turns, Austin Williams brings this latest mystery to a pulse-pounding and action packed conclusion. An absolutely outstanding mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.