The Reckless - David  Putnam

This is the second prequel to the popular Bruno Johnson series that takes us back to his early years. Bruno is an LA County deputy sheriff who works in the violent crimes unit. He likes his boss, his colleagues & their current investigation. So he’s less than thrilled when he shows up to work one day & gets a double whammy. His old partner Ned Kiefer is back & they’re being seconded to the FBI as part of a joint task force tackling a surge in bank robberies. Oh, if only it was that simple.


Sure, being sworn in as a US Marshall is a kick. But it’s immediately clear their FBI counterparts view them as subordinates who must be tolerated. It’s a frosty welcome with one exception. Special Agent Chelsea Miller is part of the team and she & Bruno have a bit of history.


Bruno & Ned dig in & have some early success. But when they’re handed one particular case, they discover the task force’s true agenda. One of the gangs responsible for the robberies is made up of disadvantaged teens. There is little chance this will end well, making it a political hot potato the FBI would prefer to avoid. And for Bruno it will be a case that tests him personally & professionally.


What follows is an action packed wild ride with plenty of twists. The multiple story lines are populated by a colourful mix of cops, gang bangers, drug addicts & honest people just trying to survive in some of LA’s poorer neighbourhoods.


At the centre of it all is Bruno, a hard working cop who wants to make a difference. His world revolves around the little house he shares with 2 year old daughter Olivia & his father. He’s a decent guy whose good nature can sometimes be a liability. Bruno is besieged by people who want him to return a favour, keep a secret, save a friend, do a job, protect a loved one…..seriously, the guy needs to learn how to say no.


However, the result is a book that has to cover a lot of territory in 320 pages. There are so many story lines running concurrently, easily enough for 2 books. If a couple were dropped, perhaps those remaining (& the characters involved) could have been more developed as the author certainly has his work cut out to tie them all up by the end.


One thing is for sure…..there is zero chance of getting bored as the hits just keep on coming. And mixed in with the action are some great twists, lovely little shockers that will make you look at some of the cast with fresh eyes. Although this is book #6 the author provides plenty of back story so if you’re looking for a fast paced adrenaline rush don’t hesitate to jump in here.