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Book review: Wolverine Bros. is fast-paced mystery

First Published May 21 2014 05:00 pm • Last Updated May 21 2014 05:00 pm

Conway Sax is an ex-con, a former race-car driver and a skilled mechanic who is fiercely loyal to his friends — especially those in the maverick Alcoholics Anonymous group he credits with saving his life.

So when Eudora Spoon, a group member and close friend who is dying of cancer, asks Sax to track down her missing son, Kenny, he immediately sets off for Los Angeles where Kenny has been pursuing an on-again, off-again acting career.

At a glance

Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage

By Steve Ulfelder

Minotaur Books

320 pages


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There, he learns Kenny has been kidnapped by a violent street gang, rescues the young man and escapes through a hail of bullets. But shortly after Sax returns Kenny to his family home in Massachusetts, Eudora is murdered.

Sax, not one to trust the authorities to do their jobs, vows vengeance. But against whom?

Did the street gang, which has a long reach, kill Eudora as payback for Kenny’s rescue? Then again, Kenny and his brother Harmon, the local police chief, both stand to gain by inheriting their mother’s valuable land holdings. And what about the money people who are lusting after Eudora’s land as the site for the state’s first full-fledged casino?

As Conway wades into the case, he is also drawn into an affair with Harmon’s wife, Tricia — a move that seems certain to cloud his judgment.

The result is a fast-paced, highly satisfying mystery told in the same muscular, vivid prose that distinguished the first three novels in this Edgar Award-nominated series by Steve Ulfelder.

"Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage" solidifies Ulfelder’s place as one of the best crime novelists to come out of Massachusetts since Dennis Lehane burst on the scene two decades ago.

Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of three crime novels including "Providence Rag."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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