“The Night Monster” by James Swain. (Ballantine Books $26, 320-pages. Hard cover.) www.jimswain.com
In the third Jack Carpenter, Swain puts Carpenter in the usual dire straits. A former Broward County detective turned child abduction specialist Carpenter does whatever is necessary to bring missing children home.
Carpenter lives the ex-cop/private detective life. Broke. Estranged from his wife. Other than the barkeeper at the bar he lives above, his life centers around his daughter, Jessie, and his closest friend, Buster—a mean ol’ Australian Shepherd. To clarify, Buster’s a dog, not a big blond guy sunburned guy with a hooked stick and an accent.
Swain has a knack for creating heroic characters that you care about. And Carpenter is one of Swain’s best.