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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
Ghosts and Shadows by H. Max Hiller is a mystery about the arrogance of cultivating lambs for the slaughter, as well as the consequences of what happens when one lamb goes astray. Cooter “Cadillac” Hooter is called in to investigate a string of mysterious fires that have baffled police. After realizing that the fires are connected to a string of alleged gang activities, Cadillac is then called to meet the Deputy of Homeland Security. When he is warned to leave things alone, Cadillac ignores these orders and becomes embroiled in a scandalous nightmare where a monstrous bloodbath slowly begins to unfold before him. It’s a race against time as Cadillac endeavors to uncover the mystery behind these killings, and unveil the corruption that lies behind the facade of America’s finest.
I loved how Hiller incorporated historical events into the story, and showed just how complicated these conflicts are. From the combined efforts against the “War on Terror” and the “War on Drugs”, to the difficulties New Orleans was going through after Hurricane Katrina, it’s a wonderful amalgam of inevitability that allowed Hiller to masterfully tie this story together. I especially enjoyed reading about how Cadillac operated within this world. His instincts and protectiveness of his loved ones clearly take precedence despite his past, and while I can’t call him a traditional hero or detective, he nevertheless illustrates that, in his eyes, justice always prevails. He seems to thrive where most other people would have given up, and has gone where even other soldiers dare not tread. Hiller excels in crafting a dark mystery filled with corruption and foreboding. The fires, the bodies, and the lies play a part in shaping the horrifying justice we all “adore” today. Thus, I would recommend this book to fans of Flash Blood by Joseph Hirsch and Gastric Bypass by Paul Lesko.