is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of SHELL GAMES by Kirk Russell

    Chronicle Books, September 2003

    When he see the bodies of the murdered poachers, California Fish and Game Lieutenant John Marquez can't help notice the resemblance to a torture and assassination technique he ran into while still with U.S. DEA. Everyone knows the mysterious killer is Marquez's bugaboo, but that doesn't mean that he's wrong this time. Using a web of informants every bit as noxious as the men they are informing on, Marquez and his small team of covert Fish and Game investigators try to get to the bottom of the mystery--and discover who is raiding the last of California's once vast abalone reserves. When it looks like he's getting close, however, the F.B.I. steps in and forces him to back off.

    Marquez's home life is a wreck. His wife has separated from him and his stepdaughter has developed an eating disorder. His department is being crimped by California's budget crisis, and one of his best officers has announced that she's pregnant. For Marquez, this is the worst time for a big case, especially a case that puts him in conflict with the FBI and where his best lead is an ex-Navy Seal who may be the killer.

    In his first novel, author Kirk Russell spins an intriguing tale of death and seafood. Because smuggling endangered species has become big business, even attracting drug smugglers and the criminal organizations that grow from the illegal and profitable. Russell's prose is dense but engaging, delving into Marquez's character and into the details of smuggling and game enforcement.

    It's exciting to discover a new mystery talent and Kirk Russell is that. Check this one out and then keep an eye open for any more novels by Russell.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 11/02/03

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase SHELL GAMES from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for SHELL GAMES from Barnes &