This includes people such as the Reverend Fernando Wilkins, who in this third Fonesca outing (after Vengeance and Retribution) hires the outwardly unremarkable, "poor but honest" Italian sleuth to locate a dying county councilman, William Trasker, who's vanished just prior to a decisive vote on reopening a controversial waterway. Did Trasker hie off for a last-breath fling, leaving his former movie-star wife behind? Or was he kidnapped for political purposes--perhaps by shady landowner and baseball fanatic Kevin Hoffman, a man with a hefty financial stake in that waterway's future? Distracted by a coterie of eccentric secondary players (including a homeless gent, intent on remaking himself as a dance instructor), and under the care of a shrink who believes he can overcome his dolorousness with joke-telling (a story line that Kaminsky plumbs for wonderfully dry comedic effect), Fonesca hardly seems like the sort one would turn to in a crisis. Yet he manages in Midnight Pass not only to unearth Trasker, but to help a wayward wife charged with murdering her lover and save himself from being ventilated by a sniper with atrocious aim.
The story contains some too-convenient turns, such as an assault on Fonesca at the site of the disputed waterway. But Kaminsky is generally a shrewd plotter, his fiction striking a fine balance between action, humor and the quirkiest of characterizations. This series' despondent protagonist might be the only one not entertained by the results. --J. Kingston Pierce -- From Amazon.com Amazon.com Review