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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
In Betrayal in Blue: Mamba Mysteries by C. R. Downing, former police Lieutenant Phil Mamba, now a private detective, teams up with select sources to create a list of drug traffickers. The police must use the list to launch a coordinated attack on the drug traffickers. But before they can get things together, word leaks out about the police, and the syndicate launches a ruthless attack on the police officers and their families. Now Mamba finds himself in dire straits as he investigates the leaks while struggling to stop the bloodbath. It is gritty work, but can he solve this case before more bodies of innocent people turn up?
C. R. Downing creates a setting in the mid-’80s that is realistic, and readers will enjoy the way he writes about police work. The story is pulsating, packed with action, and features rock-solid characters. An intelligent plan quickly goes bad, turning the tide against those who, in fact, should be in control of a situation. Fans of sleuth novels will be enthralled by this story of betrayal and an investigation that pits a seasoned detective against time and gangs. Deftly plotted, it absorbs readers as they discover how police departmental leaks come about and whether these can be solved in time to prevent more ruthless attacks from the syndicate. Betrayal in Blue: Mamba Mysteries is a gut-punch, a trail-blazer intelligently crafted, and features exquisite prose and superb storytelling. The believable characters and the strong plot points had me turning the pages, but the action made it impossible to put this book down.