Vapor Trail is a high adrenaline thriller. I have to start this review with that. Chuck Logan’s books, his Phil Broker series, just gets better and better with each installment. And right now, Vapor Trail is my favorite.
After a police investigation, a pedophile is arrested. Charged. During the hearing –during what should be an open and closed case– there is a problem. Ronald Dolman, the accused, walks free. It doesn’t matter that he committed horrible crimes.
Unhappy with a lack-luster judicial system, the Saint takes matters into their own hands. This vigilante goes after Dolman. Kills him. And leaves a St. Nichols (the patron Saint for children) medallion in the vile, scumbag’s mouth. The city goes wild. Everyone starts wearing Saints jerseys, and jackets, and hats. The police investigate the murder, but aren’t really all that concerned with catching a suspect.
Until a few years later. A priest is murdered inside the confessional of a rickety, run down church. The St. Nicholas medallion is left in his mouth. It looks like the Saint might be back in town, back for another round. The police want to keep things hush-hush from the press, from the citizens.
Calling in a favor, Phil Broker is asked to assist on the case. Ex-cop, ex-military, Broker knows the ins and outs. Wearing a temporary badge he works at wrangling in suspended officer Harry Cantrell. Cantrell was always considered a suspect, that he could be the Saint. Never proven, Cantrell’s alcoholism has hindered the man’s work. Broker, maybe a guy Cantrell hates more than anyone, is sent to find his old friend.
A killer is on the loose. There are targets getting hit. Cantrell knows something about the new cases, he knows something about the Saint. The problem is he keeps alluding Broker. At any moment the press is going to catch on. Pandemonium is a given. Time is running out . . .
Vapor Trail was non-stop tension. The suspense built and built, and built. I am reserving my comments on Nina Pryce (Broker’s wife) until my next review. I dislike her. . . lots!