Trace Evidence (Michael Flint #2), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

Having spent years reading Diane Capri’s Hunt for Reacher novels, I discovered this series, almost by accident. Michael Flint appeared in the latest Hunt for Reacher novel, impressing readers, but has his own story, which is just as exciting and even more riveting. Capri has sculpted this protagonist to be one that readers can enjoy with ease, while also being able to devour the novels in short order. This second book in the series delves deeper into the the Flint backstory and touches on some emotional and very personal sides to the man, all while battling a case or two in the present day. Capri shines in this series and has me eager to get my hands on another Michael Flint novel in short order.

When a woman of some means reaches out to Michael Flint for help, he cannot turn her down. Desperate to save her young son, Veronica Beaumont implores Flint to do what other investigators have been unable to do. Jamie Beaumont suffers from an illness and has been able to find no matches, but his biological father, Josh Hellman, might hold the key. Trouble is, Hallman has been missing for the last six years since his small plane went down on a fishing trip.

While Flint learns more about the plane crash and how the body of two men were found at the bottom of an icy lake, he wonders why there is no trace of Hallman. Did he walk away from the crash? Autopsies on the bodies showed non-crash related injuries that led to their deaths, leaving some to wonder if Hallman killed his friends and has since gone off the radar. Whatever’s happening, Flint wants answers. However, when he revisits the scene, some of the men he encounters, who were there at the time of the crash, are vague and appear to be hiding a secret of their own, including a former client of Flint’s.

The exploration for a lost parent sparks an interest in Flint to finally find out who his parents were and what happened to them. While files were spotty at the time, Flint learns that his potential mother may have been murdered by a man on death row, whose execution is imminent. With little time to waste, Flint works this as a side-job, hoping to get some of his own answers before it’s too late.

With a parallel narrative depicting what happened at the time of the crash, readers can see things from Josh Hallman’s perspective as well, including some of the secrets that Michael Flint is slowly unearthing. The mystery behind Hallman’s disappearance remains complicated, but there are some leads begging to be revealed that could help Flint find the key to saving the life of a young boy. Capri does so well with this piece that she will have readers praising her for the foreseeable future.

I discovered Diane Capri as the author of a great Jack Reacher spin-off, which I have long enjoyed. I knew she had some other series being published, but I never took the time to explore them. After Michael Flint’s appearance in the latest Reacher tale, I decided that I ought to expand my Capri reading knowledge. How pleased I was to do that, as Michael Flint turned out to be even better than any Hunt for Reacher novel I read. It’s nice to discover new aspects to an author you and long read and enjoyed.

Capri has a sensationally strong and detailed narrative base in this novel, which juggles numerous timelines and perspectives at the same time. The story gains further flavouring by a handful of one-off characters, who both enhance the larger story, as well as the Flint personal saga that proves to be a great undertone throughout. The Michael Flint backstory is captivating and keeps the reader engaged as a partial distraction from the Josh Hallman plot. The varied plot lines are entertaining throughout and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, as they seek to explore how Flint will be able to help others while doing the same for himself. This is surely the best Capri novel I have read to date and I am eager to see how the third novel in this series proves to be when it is released later this year.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for providing ongoing entertainment for your loyal fans.

Blood Trails (Michael Flint #1), by Diane Capri

Eight stars

After spending years reading Diane Capri’s Hunt for Reacher novels, I was introduced to another of her series that packs just as much punch. Michael Flint, who appeared in the latest Hunt for Reacher novel, has a story all his own and one that many readers will surely find quite alluring. As Flint finds himself looking for a woman who is set to inherit a large sum of money, he’s faced with just how hard some people want to keep from being found, and the ghosts that lurk in their past. Capri shows her versatility with this piece, which capture’s the reader’s attention.

Michael Flint has spent the last number of years tracking down those who are set to inherent something or other. However, heir hunting is not as easy as it seems. While Flint brags that he can find most anyone, he may have met his match.

After he is called to a Houston skyscraper, Flint is tasked with finding Laura Oakwood, who has inherited her family ranch, which sits atop a massive (and as yet, untapped) oil field. Laura knows nothing of these riches, but two oils tycoons want her found or the land signed over for exploration. Laura has been missing for 28 years, not long after she was fingered for being part of a robbery gone bad that left people dead and her wanted in connection with the crime.

While Flint is ready for the challenge, he could not have known it would be this difficult, forcing him to battle henchmen on both sides trying to one-up each other, as well as the multiple dead-ends that the search garners. Flint will have to brave the cold of rural Saskatchewan, in Canada, to locate Laura Oakwood and potentially her offspring, who disappeared with her. Will Flint have enough time before the clock runs out and the land goes to someone else? Flint will do all in his power to bring another heir into the fortune they deserve. Capri keeps the reader enthralled until the very end and shows just how varied her writing can be.

As I said before, I have always known Diane Capri to be the author of a Jack Reacher spin-off, but I knew she had some other series in her quiver. When Michael Flint made an appearance in the latest Reacher tale, I thought that I would give his series a try, if only to compare it to what I had read for so long. Capri shows she has what it takes and kept me guessing until the very end of this crime thriller.

With a strong narrative base, Capri adds depth to her story through a string of strong characters, none of whom appear to get along completely with their neighbours. While there is some great development, it is the backstory of Michael Flint that provides the most interesting aspects for the reader to enjoy. With more to the series, one can only hope there will be moments to add to this character, who has my attention already. Great plot twists, in a story where locating a missing person is high on the agenda, proves highly successful and keeps the reader wondering how things will progress. I’ll set aside some of the foibles in the narrative as they relate to Canada and allow readers to focus on the larger story. I found myself quite enthralled with how Capri presented things, as I tried not to compare things to their other series. There is a lot to enjoy herein and I hope to enjoy the rest of the series in short order.

Kudos, Madam Capri, for keeping me entertained, no matter what you’re writing.