Review: Line of Sight (James Queally)

Line of Sight open with Russ Avery – former reporter, now PI – helping a dirty cop clean up a mess he’s made. So we know, at least, that Avery can cross a moral line.

Avery is subsequently offered a job by Key, a Black activist and friend, to look into the death of Kevin Mathis. Mathis’ death was determined to be just another drug-related shooting in a town that never lacks them. The twist on this is that Mathis was in possession of a video that appears to show a police officer shooting a friend of his. Mathis’ father, Austin, is convinced his son was also killed by a cop.

Avery, knowing that the release of that video would blow up, requests that they give him a little time to start asking around, and not release the video. The problem for Avery: if he starts asking questions about an officer-involved shooting, his steady stream of “fixing” for cops is going to dry up fairly quickly.

He goes on anyway, his reporter brain fully engaged. Along the way we meet retired cops, active cops, and – thankfully – the really dirty cop who appears in the video. I say thankfully, because sometimes, in books like this, the bad guy doesn’t show up until a few pages from the end of the book, and it’s impossible to even make an in informed guess of whodunnit.

There’s a decent amount of action, and there are protests not unlike current event here in the US as I type this, which bring to mind the Black Live Matter protests, when Key and Mathis’ father release the video to the press. Russ manages to get himself beat up, arrested, and given a very stern talking to by his ex-girlfriend, who is still employed at the paper from which he was fired.

Overall, I’m giving it four out of five stars. The opening is a little slow, but once things get moving, we are along for the ride as Avery pokes his nose into places the people in charge don’t want him to go.

Thanks to NetGalley and Polis Books for the reading copy.