This is Griffin's latest book in his Badge of Honor police mysteries' series. Even though it was 2003 since he wrote Final Justice, the 8th in the series, I had no problem remembering the main characters.
Character development and topic research are his strengths as a writer. This series of books takes place in Philadelphia. It is about Irish policemen, their families, and their trials and tribulations.
Matt Payne is a recurring character. He is a young, rich, highly intelligent Homicide Detective Sergeant. He has had the misfortune of repeatedly being in the wrong place and the proverbial wrong time. There are police officers that never discharge their weapon during their entire careers. There are officers that never even draw their weapons during those careers. Then there are some, like Payne, who are labeled Wyatt Earp because of the number of firefights he has been involved in during his brief career.
Payne must assist a Texas Ranger who comes to town to capture El Gato, a trafficker of drugs and young girls. El Gato, The Cat, brands all his girls and beheads those that need discipline. Payne also is aiding in the investigation of the motel explosion that housed a Methedrine lab, killing 2 and critically wounding 2 others; one a former girlfriend-gone-awry.
There is a nice romantic subplot that is created between Payne and a new character. Both story-lines are inner connected and as in many series books, do not get fully resolved by the last turned page. However, there is an unwritten rule for people that create: Always keep your audience wanting more.