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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Snooker’s Legacy: Matt Preston Series, Book 5 is a noir political thriller novel written by Paul Shadinger. Matt was in the decidedly uncomfortable position of still feeling the aches and pains from his recent foray into the Middle East, where he helped a friend in need and nearly lost his life in the attempt. The slowness of the healing process this time around made him aware that his aging body just didn’t heal as well or as quickly as it used to. He also realized that he wanted his long-distance relationship with Lois to get to the next level -- or did he? They were perfect together, and he always couldn’t wait to see her, but was she the one? While he mulled over his rather uncertain and short-term future, Matt received a call from Senator Albert Bradson, a long-time friend, who had an important decision to make and needed Matt’s help. Matt knew he would not leave his friend in the lurch.
Paul Shadinger’s hero finds himself in a darker place than his previous tales. Matt would be the first to admit, to Lois at least, there was an anger that fueled his actions since that nearly fatal Middle East mission, and the reader can’t help but see it in his occasionally brutal responses to the bad guys he encounters and his air of nonchalance about that brutality. Though PTSD is never really mentioned, Matt and his veteran friends are no doubt fairly cognizant of the condition and Matt’s vivid dreams and acknowledgment of that anger seem almost to lead to something that might be addressed in a future book. Anger aside, Matt is his usual caring and compassionate self, whose “knight in white armor” persona shows up again and again, most vividly when he rescues an abused wife on the run. As I read, I couldn’t help but wonder what comes next for the hero who is clearly having issues with change, anger, and the future.
Snooker’s Legacy is well written, and the plot will delight thriller readers who like their literature thought-provoking and occasionally deep. Shadinger’s characters are intriguing and credible, especially the diminutive Mouse whose inner rage is also something the reader is witness to in this book. Classic detective fans will also encounter the occasional nod and homage the author pays to his forebears in the genre. I appreciated the marvelous entree into the world of classic cars the author leads into later on in the book. Snooker’s Legacy is highly recommended.