Author: P. D. LaFleur
Publisher: RGI Press
ISBN: 978-0-9792597-2-2

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The reluctant assassin is not uncommon in suspense literature.  We have Ludlum’s Jason Bourne, Forsyth’s Cat Shannon, and a host of others that for whatever reason have fallen into an unusual trade that they don’t particularly like but are exceptionally good at.  They are often tragic characters that cross the stage of the novel like some modern Hamlet, avatars for our sense of adventure and conquistadors of our emotions.  Now we have Emilio Fortino, if that’s his true name, a cultured man that likes music, wine, and growing olives in his villa in Italy.  He is an enigma and P. D. LaFleur allows him to remain one.

The title is a double entendre.  The Peace River flows through fictional Dodge County, the under populated, rugged dominion of Sheriff Larry Garrison, whose primary duty is to keep the peace among the cowboy types that live in his county, somewhat reminiscent of the wild Dodge of the Earps and Doc Holiday. 

Emilio Fortino provides a new challenge for our sheriff.  Working in a round-about way for Chechen freedom fighters, his job is to kidnap Alek Mironev, the playboy son of the Russian President.  Little by little Sheriff Garrison pieces together the kidnapping plot from very little evidence using good common sense and Sherlockian leaps of intuition.  As they match wits the sheriff and the assassin over time learn to respect each other and recognize their shared sense of humanity and honor.  All the while the sagacity of Emilio Fortino’s planning is something to admire, at least in the abstraction.  And we wonder at his mysterious illness.  Is he another Cat Shannon?  We never know.

P. D. LaFleur provides us with very interesting characters, people with multiple strengths and weaknesses that make them very human, alive in the extreme.  Fortino is the epic assassin; Garrison is the epic foil to the assassin’s plot.  LaFleur starts slowly with a dearth of dialog and not a very good hook, but be patient.  This is a story worth reading.  It as good as Ludlum’s or Forsyth’s.  It is the kind of book I like to read. 

Yes, there are some nits to pick: most MRIs take longer than ten minutes and some of the clues like the spoon lure are a little too obvious.  At the personal level, I would like to have known what illness Emilio suffers from and I was expecting a reconciliation of a certain young man with his father.  All these little details hardly detract from a great story that is well plotted and hard to put down.

With books like this coming out of independent publishers, readers have a new and reliable source of suspenseful, well written books to entertain them.  It is my pleasure as a reviewer to introduce them to the readers.  LaFleur’s Mill Town already won an Independent Publisher Book Award, but Disturbing the Peace was my first introduction to his work.  I will now read Mill Town.  I suggest you read both.  And let’s hope P. D. keeps producing good yarns.

 Click Here To Purchase Disturbing the Peace