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Bomb Shelter: David Mapstone    by Jon Talton order for
Bomb Shelter
by Jon Talton
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Have you been to Phoenix, Arizona? Possibly lived there Or visited there? In summer? If so, you have a stronger constitution than do I. The summer temperatures can easily soar above 110!

Why does that happen? The author of The Bomb Shelter, Jon Talton, claims that the act of gentrification made it necessary to cut down most of the trees and resulted in a lack of shade, thus raising temperatures. This is a simple explanation but is basically what happened.

Anyway, the political and criminal background of this Arizona city once resulted in almost as many corrupt cops as clean ones. A bombing, forty years before the story starts, killed a reporter who might have been ready to expose Mafia manipulations involving many prominent names from that era.

Four decades later, the reporter's assassination is still not solved. David Mapstone, an historian turned sheriff's deputy, is given the job of identifying the killer. No easy task when he is in fear of his life at every turn, as well as worrying about the safety of his wife, Lindsey.

The Bomb Shelter's author knows Phoenix like the back of his own hand. He takes readers along with him as he chases leads always with a frozen plastic water bottle to contend with the blistering heat. This story is a blend of fiction and non-fiction. That is explained on the very first page. Real names involved at that time in the underworld will surprise you.

This novel is researched down to the last crossed t and dotted i. Fascinating as well as horrifying. Fascinating because of the details of the men involved in killing others. Horrifying because the murders depicted here truly happened. Jon Talton is a fourth generation Arizonian and the author of 11 novels. Besides writing murderous novels, he is the economics columnist for the Seattle Times.

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